High school playwrights sought for national competition

The Sacred Heart University Theatre Arts Program in Fairfield announces its inaugural National Playwriting Competition for high school students. Sacred Heart University’s Theatre Arts program is expanding its focus on new works to include two high school playwrights.

Jerry Goehring, a Tony-nominated Broadway producer and artistic director of the Theatre Arts Program at Sacred Heart University, uses his experience producing new works on- and off- Broadway to support young artists. “There are so many subjects that can be learned exclusively in a classroom but theatre just isn’t one of them,” Goehring said. Theatre has to be hands-on…it has to be immersive. What better way for high school playwrights to learn their craft than by seeing their words come to life? It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.”

The National High School Playwriting Competition will expand into the summer months by inviting high school students from throughout the nation as well as potential Broadway artists of the future, to submit new plays and musicals for a professional work experience on the campus of Sacred Heart University.

Selected from all of the submitted plays, two young playwrights will be invited to the Sacred Heart University campus for an all-expenses paid week of script development. Each playwright will receive one-on-one instruction and feedback from industry professionals. The cast and crew will come from the Sacred Heart University Rep Company. The creative process will involve access to the University’s state-of-the-art theatre facilities. After a series of intense workshops, scene analyses, story work and rewrites, each playwright’s week will culminate with a public staged reading. Each reading will be followed by an audience talkback from the attending theatre-going public.

In addition to the high school playwrights, the Sacred Heart University Theatre Arts Program will be inviting five high school students to intern for the summer theatre programming, which will include supporting the high school playwrights, pre-Broadway new musical workshops and presentation, Guerilla Shakespeare and a production of the musical, Avenue Q.

“These positions are for those high school students who are passionate about theatre and keeping it a part of their lives. As an intern, you’ll do everything; hang lights, run a soundboard, step in to act – you name it,” said Goehring.

Applicants for the National Playwright Competition must submit by Dec. 1, 2016. Applicants for the internship program must submit by April 1, 2017. For more details, visit shutheatrearts.org/NPC

All questions may be directed to Jerry Goehring, artistic director of the Theatre Arts Program, 203-371-7926 or [email protected].

Students working on playwriting projects

Students working on playwriting projects

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