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Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Theater Project’s 18th Annual Young Playwrights Competition Accepts Entries Now Through January 24, 2020


The Theater Project is once again reaching out to creative young people in its 18th annual Young Playwrights Competition. Winners receive cash prizes and see their work performed by professional actors at the awards ceremony in March of 2020.

“We look forward to inspiring and being inspired,” says artistic director Mark Spina. “Every year, we are energized by the incredible talent and creativity in the entries, and every year we hope to inspire more young people to write and exercise their creativity by providing a showcase for their work.”

On the day of the ceremony, the judges and members of The Theater Project’s Adult Playwrights Workshop also offer half-hour tutorials to any interested contest entrant. Several past winners of the Playwrights Competition have gone on to pursue degrees in theater and playwriting, and they often return to The Theater Project’s event to present prizes and share their journeys with the newest honorees.

“We want to make sure that kids know their creative efforts are valued by showcasing them for the community,” says program coordinator Kevin Carver. “In tough economic times, arts education sometimes gets short-changed as people struggle to make ends meet and schools see their budgets shrink. But when kids lose out on arts experiences, they miss opportunities to develop critical thinking and reading skills that are needed now more than ever.”


In last year’s contest, ten young people were honored in the March 2019 awards ceremony:

First Prize: Kianni Keys, Newark Academy;

Second Prize: Jaid Green, Bergen County Academies;

Third Prize: Fiona Flynn, River Dell Regional High School.

Honorable Mentions:

Jacqueline Acunto, Bergen County Academies

Julianna Felt, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child

Stephen Lehren, Columbia High School

Jonathan Price, Plainfield High School

Angel Cruz Rodriguez, Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy

Spencer Scalamoni, Roxbury High School

Peren Yesilyurt, Bergen County Academies


The submission deadline is January 24, 2020. New Jersey’s high school playwrights submit their short plays at TheTheaterProject.org web site, where they will find all the necessary entry guidelines and formatting rules.

The Theater Project is an award-winning professional company in Union, NJ. The company also offers events in Cranford, Rahway and Maplewood.

PHOTO 1: Honorees at March 2019 Young Playwrights Competition:
Not pictured: Juliana Felt

PHOTO 2: First prize winner Kianni Keys (CENTER) with her cast: Brian Parks, Matt McCarthy, Sarah Paton, Michael Gardiner, Deb Maclean.


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