For nine years, Los Angeles' Blank Theatre has solicited scripts from teenagers across the country to stage their annual Young Playwrights Festival. 2001's twelve winners will be performed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays June 5-27 at the Hudson Theatre.
Not only do these young writers from California, Virginia, Ohio and Texas get to see their plays in a fully staged production, but also receive mentoring from a theatre professional. Working with the playwrights are Tony nominee Michael Mayer (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Side Man), Emmy winner Mark Saltzman (Tin Pan Alley), playwrights Jonathan Tolis (Twilight of the Golds Ellen Byron (Graceland) and TV writers David Zucker ("Judging Amy") and Allan Heinberg ("Sex and the City").
2001's crop of comedies and dramas includes Odds Are by Keith J. Powell (19 years old), Through the Window by Amanda Smith (15), Stormie Watters by Lindsay Rosin (16), The Table by Shane Lynch (15), The Winkelmans Are Coming by Stacey Lloyd (17), Saguine by Andy Hyman (19), REM by Lara Neece (15), The Imaginary Woman by Matt Hardigree (18), Nothing's Ever Going on Around Here by Liza Kaplan (16), Knights and Pages by Sara Weaver (18), All Over it by Bridget Moloney (17) and Superzeroes by Molly Lambert (17).
Directing them will be Cats' Ken Page, Williamstown Theatre Festival's Gordon Hunt, Blank Theatre artistic director Daniel Henning, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" helmer Loni Peristere, Jon Shear, Anita Khanzadian, Richard Kline, Lee Costello, John Altieri, Christopher Collett, Mary-Pat Green and five-time Young Playwrights Festival winner Austin Winsberg.
Tickets are $10 per performance, $32 for a festival pass. The Hudson Theatre is located at 6537 Santa Monica Boulevard. For reservations, call (323) 661-9827. The Young Playwrights Festival is on the web at http://www.youngplaywrights.org. The Blank Theatre Company is known for its recent productions of The Why, Starr Struck: A Musical Investigation and Hello Again as well as its artistic producer, TV's Noah Wylie. The Los Angeles-based company was founded in 1990.
— By Christine Ehren