Young Playwrights Inc. (YPI), founded by Stephen Sondheim in 1981, is currently accepting applications for its 2001-2002 Advanced Playwriting Workshop (APW). The deadline for applications is Sept. 29, with weekly sessions beginning Wed., Oct. 10.
The APW is open to high-school-aged playwrights in the tri-state area. Playwright Kenneth Lonergan is a 1981 APW alumnus. His credits include the Academy Award-nominated film "You Can Count On Me" as well as the plays This Is Our Youth, The Waverly Gallery and, most recently, Lobby Hero which ended its run at The John Houseman Theatre Sept. 2.
Participants in the program meet every Wednesday throughout the academic year. Through writing exercises led by YPI Teaching Artist and Managing Director Brett W. Reynolds, the group work to develop new plays of their own. The workshop results in a professionally-staged off-Broadway reading of the students' plays in June.
APW participants are also invited to attend a variety of Broadway and off-Broadway productions. The group often gets the opportunity to meet with playwrights, directors, producers and cast members after the shows. Performances the 2000-2001 APW attended included Bat Boy: The Musical, Cabaret, Chicago, Cobb, Contact, Copenhagen, Dinner With Friends, Dirty Blonde, The Dog Problem, Down The Garden Paths, Follies, Force Continuum, Fully Committed, 42nd Street, George Gershwin Alone, Juno and The Paycock, Lifegame, The Music Man, Proof, The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life In The Universe, Seussical, Suburb and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife.
The Advanced Playwriting Workshop is offered free of charge. Membership is by application only. YPI selects applicants based on the strength of writing samples (both creative and expository) and teacher recommendations. APW sessions are held at the YPI office, located at 306 West 38th Street, Suite 300. For an application, call YPI at (212) 307-1140 or visit their website at www.youngplaywrights.org. — by Esther Sapan