Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sarasota's Theatre Odyssey seeks young playwrights for competition

    If you're a teenager and an aspiring playwright from the Bradenton area, you might want to work up a 10-minute play in the next two months.
   Theatre Odyssey is gearing up for its third annual Student Ten-Minute Playwriting Festival, which is set for Jan. 16.  
   Playwrights have until Oct. 17 to submit plays. Readers go through all the submissions and select a few of the best plays, and then Theatre Odyssey produces them, with experienced acts and directors, for an audience. A panel of theater professionals pick the winner.
   The winning playwright gets a cash prize, and the play gets another production at the Theatre Odyssey’s Ten-Minute Play Festival, the company's more established festival that's open to playwrights of all ages. The play is also published in Theatre Odyssey's annual compilation of finalists from its two festivals.

   To be eligible, playwrights have to live along the gulf coast between Fort Myers and Tampa, and they have to be in grades 9 through 12 or the home-schooled equivalent, in the 2014-15 school year.
   The plays have to be no more than 10 minutes long (that usually means they're between seven and 11 pages) and require no more than five actors. It has to be original work that hasn't been performed for a paying audience in the area.
   Completed manuscripts should be sent to Theatre Odyssey, P.O. Box 1383, Sarasota, FL  34230-1383.
   You can see a complete list of submission rules and requirements here.
   Even if you're not playwright, the festival makes for an interesting evening of theater. The plays that make it to the finals are ambitious and entertaining, though obviously created by inexperienced writers, and the acting and direction are as good as you'll see in any local theater. The festival's held in the David S. and Anne V. Howard Studio Theatre on the Bradenton campus of State College of Florida.

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