There may be up to three winners in the Elementary, Junior High, and High School division and High School winners receive a New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education, cosponsored by the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership and the New Jersey Department of Education.
For over 30 years, the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest has been deepening the writing experience for young writers by providing entrants with detailed feedback from theatre professionals about their play. The New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival selects plays from over 400 submissions and presents them as staged reading with professional actors and directors. Selected playwrights meet with their director/dramaturg to discuss the play and work on possible revisions. Winning plays will be presented during the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival annually held in May in collaboration with Premiere Stages at Kean University.
Two former New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest winners, Dailyn Rodriguez and Alec Strum, have continued their writing careers.
Dailyn Rodriguez, received the New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education for her plays A Woman, A Bathroom, A Dream (1991) and Dirty Laundry (1992) while attending Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, NJ. Playwrights Theatre produced both plays for the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival and Baker’s Plays later published the scripts in an anthology titled Throwing off the Covers, which includes two addition plays by Rodriguez. Rodriguez received a BFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU where she received the John Golden Award in Playwriting and the New York Company Picture Award for screenwriting. She also received a Walt Disney Studios Fellowship Award in 2001. Rodriguez is a television writer, editor, and producer who has worked on such shows as George Lopez, 90210, In Plain Sight, and Ugly Betty for which she received a Writers Guild Award in 2007.
Alec Strum a graduate of Bergen County Academies and Middlebury College received a New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education in 2002 when his play, Doghouse, was chosen as one of the winning scripts. Strum published three plays for young audiences with Pioneer Drama: Big Bad, The Big Bad Musical, and The Southfield Stories and is currently the Literary Assistant at Playwrights Horizons and was the assistant director for Roundabout Theatre Company’s Broadway production of After Miss Julie. Additionally, Strum is a co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of Down Payment Productions, a “non-profit theatrical production company committed to cultivating the next generation of American theater artists and audiences.”
For more information about the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival, Playwrights Theatre’s Creative Arts Academy Fall Classes or Playwrights Theatre’s New Jersey Writers Project, please visit http://www.ptnj.org or call (973) 514-1787.
Playwrights Theatre Creative Arts Academy teaches classes year-round for children, teens and adults. The Creative Arts Academy is committed to nurturing independent thinking, artistic and personal development through the literary and performing arts. At the Creative Arts Academy, students are part of a community where self-expression and creativity thrive and every person is a valuable member of the whole. Playwrights Theatre’s Creative Arts Academy strives for artistic excellence while emphasizing the creative process, both of which are vital to the personal, social and academic evolution of students of all ages. Creative Arts Academy instructors are highly experienced professional artists who are perceptive and dynamic in the classroom. Creative Arts Academy teachers are committed to developing their own skills, as well as those of their students, and to refining their artistry through continued practice and education. For additional information or to register, visit www.ptnj.org or call (973) 514-1787, ext. 21.
About Playwrights Theatre:
Founded in 1986, Playwrights Theatre is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit professional theatre and arts education institution dedicated to developing and nurturing the dramatic imagination of artists, students, and audiences. Our New Play Program creates development opportunities for professional writers through readings, workshops and productions, and invites audiences to participate in authentic feedback experiences. Our New Jersey Writers Project, Poetry Out Loud, New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, and Creative Arts Academy programs provide a comprehensive and hands-on arts education experience to over 31,000 students, Pre-K through adult.
Writers in the New Play Program are drawn from across the country, including our affiliation with the National New Play Network, a nation-wide group of theatres dedicated to the development and production of new work. Teaching Artists in our Education Programs are professional artists working in their field in the New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. From 2003-2012, we have been designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (along with only four other theatres: The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, George Street Playhouse, McCarter Theatre Center and Paper Mill Playhouse) as “an anchor institution that contributes vitally to the quality of life in New Jersey.”
Funding for our activities comes from: the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., Dramatist Guild Fund, Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, The Shubert Foundation, Travelers, The Victoria Foundation, and many corporations, foundations and individuals.
Playwrights Theatre is a member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the National New Play Network, and Madison Arts & Culture Alliance.
About Premiere Stages:
As the professional Equity Theatre-in-Residence at Kean University, Premiere Stages is committed to serving the cultural needs of the campus community and the northern and central New Jersey regions. Premiere Stages actively engages and enhances the specialized training programs at Kean University while embracing and serving a culturally diverse audience, underserved children, and a broad pool of regional artists. Premiere’
• Arts Education: Introducing NJ children and teenagers to the art of dramatic writing and performance, increasing literacy, facilitating creative written expression, and encouraging collaborative teamwork.
• New Play Development:
• Professional Development for University Students: Bringing world-class artists to the Kean University campus for master classes, offering exposure for student writing and acting through showcase performances, and providing students with professional experience as actors, understudies, and interns in a variety of technical and arts administration fields.