VT Young Playwrights Project
“I think the Vermont Young Playwrights Project has been one of the most professionally rewarding experiences for me as a teacher.”
- Julie Pidgeon, 8th grade teacher, Folsom Education and Community Center
Since 1995, when playwright Dana Yeaton and Vermont Stage Company initiated the Vermont Young Playwrights Project, over 4,500 participating students have taken a stab at what is truly a challenging task—writing a 10-minute play for the stage! At the annual VYP Festival, professional actors and directors have brought over 350 of those plays to life over the years, many of them first efforts by the young playwrights. The results are sometimes funny, sometimes moving, often thought-provoking and always surprising.
In November of 2004 the Vermont Young Playwrights Project was the recipient of a New England Theatre Conference (NETC) Regional Award for Outstanding Achievement in the American Theatre. In 2008, the Flynn Center and Vermont Stage Company joined forces to take the program to new heights. Drawing on both organizations' strengths (the Flynn's expert arts educators and Vermont Stage's expert directors and performers) led to an unparalleled VYP experience for students and teachers. Visit Vermont Young Playwrights' website for more information.
How does it work?
A professional playwright/ teaching artist visits your middle or high school classroom for 2 or 3 full days over the course of a month or two. On the first day, students are introduced to the fundamentals of playwriting, and inspired by writing prompts to begin getting their ideas on paper. On the second (and optional third) visit(s), students read each others’ works-in-progress aloud, support and critique one another in a moderated feedback process, and refine their plays further. Teachers then select and submit three plays for Festival consideration. A panel of theater artists read and rank these plays at the Flynn for successful application of playwriting principles, and then pass the top two along to Vermont Stage Company. VSC casts the plays with top-notch actors, and assigns directors who present the plays at the Festival at the Flynn Center in May. One play from each school is rehearsed and performed onstage, and the second play receives a public cold reading and moderated feedback session. The third place play gets an honorable mention in the Festival program.
To allow sufficient attention to each student’s writing, there is a maximum of 20 students per residency (You can inquire about exceptions). Residencies will be arranged around your schedule. The Festival is held each year in mid-May. Residencies cost $900 for 2-days + Festival, $1200 for 3-days + Festival. A mileage fee is necessary for schools outside of Chittenden County.
Current Festival Updates:Visit Vermont Young Playwrights' website for more information.
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