Published: Nov. 9, 2017

Wharton Center seeking playwrights for Young Playwrights Festival

Contact(s): Bob Hoffman Wharton Center office: (517) 884-3115

High school students across the state are invited to submit a one-act play to be juried in the 22nd annual Young Playwrights Festival, a collaboration between Wharton Center Institute for Arts and Creativity and Department of Theatre.

Twelve semi-finalists will be chosen from all submitted scripts. From those, the jury will select six finalists whose plays will be produced at Wharton Center. Each of the six finalists will be assigned a professional theater mentor, who will assist the playwright with revising their play.

The six finalists’ plays will be performed by MSU Department of Theatre students at 2 p.m. May 12 in Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre. The performance is free and open to the public with first-come, first-served seating. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

Each finalist will also receive a $200 award. The other six semi-finalists will receive a $100 award.

To enter, eligible students in grades 9-12 must complete an application available online. Rules for submission are listed there, as well. All script entries for this year’s festival must be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format by Dec. 4.

A second performance is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 14. All high schools are invited to attend this free event. Reservations for the May 14 school show must be made in advance by contacting Laurie Briseño, education operations manager, by May 1.

Professional mentors for 2018 include:

  • Joe Giardina, managing director, Gretna Theatre, Pennsylvania
  • Pam Sterling, associate professor of theatre, Arizona State University
  • Joe Zettlemaier, Michigan-based playwright
  • Amanda Ewing, University of Michigan
  • Ken LaZebnik, playwright and screenwriter
  • Randy Wyatt, Aquinas College


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