Teen playwrights have an Off-Broadway space to call their own Sept. 27-Oct. 26 at the Alternative Space at Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village, where the 2002 Young Playwrights Festival, presented by Young Playwrights Inc., is being held.
Now in its 21st year, the fall fest will include the works of five young writers, ages 15-18, who will join the ranks of such past festival discoveries as Kenneth Lonergan (Lobby Hero, This Is Our Youth, 2002 Academy Award nominee, Rebecca Gilman (Spinning Into Butter, Boy Gets Girl) and Jerome Hairston (2002 Humana Festival).
Young Playwrights, Inc. was founded by Stephen Sondheim in 1981 to foster new American playwrights.
The mainstage festival offerings are:
Trade by Caroline V. McGraw, age 17, Cleveland, OH. "Two young couples in a dark and funny exploration of freedom, ownership, and the power of makeup." In addition to individual works being showcases, an intergenerational performance program called "Write a Play!" will be offered, bringing together "young people and seniors to exchange ideas through pre-performance playwriting workshops and post-performance discussions." The series will take place Oct. 18 and 20. Tickets are $12.
The "Write a Play!" works are:
Jersey Story by Daniel St. Germain, age 18, Pound Ridge, NY. "An aspiring musician still reveling in his high school glory days falls into a life of crime as he tries to provide his sister with the opportunities he never had." The 21st Anniversary Season of the Young Playwrights Festival is sponsored in part by a leadership grant from Vivendi Universal, and major support has also been provided by Carol Burnett in memory of her late daughter, Carrie Louise Hamilton, a young playwright who will be represented on Broadway this season with Hollywood Arms.
The Cherry Lane is at 38 Commerce Street in Greenwich Village. Tickets for the Young Playwrights Festival are $30; the three mainstage plays performed every evening. Tickets may be purchased through Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200.
For more information, visit www.youngplaywrights.org.
— By Kenneth Jones