Celebrating 30 Years of WRITE A PLAY!

Do you remember the first award, trophy, or moment of recognition that you received as a kid? Remember how proud and excited you were?

That’s how over 100 playwrights from across the country and as far as Scotland and Israel felt this year on FST’s Young Playwrights Festival Day.

Over the course of 30 years, FST has reached over one million students through WRITE A PLAY, an arts-in-education initiative providing students with the example, the inspiration, and the skills to write their own original plays. Each year, WRITE A PLAY culminates with the Young Playwrights Festival, an entire day dedicated to celebrating children’s imagination and creativity.

Jack B. Murphy, Allyson Broyles, Allison Arana, and Austin Howeth perform the winning plays for the digital 2021 Young Playwrights Festival. Photo by FST.

Traditionally, the Young Playwrights Festival takes place on FST’s five theatre campus where participating students, teachers, and families gather together to enjoy live performances of the year’s winning plays, followed by an awards ceremony where each student is presented with a certificate and medal on stage.

This year’s celebration was especially significant as FST honored two years of winning young playwrights – those whose plays were created in the 2019-2020 academic year as well as those whose plays were written in 2020-2021.

“YPF Day was particularly special this year,” said Adam Ratner, FST’s Young Playwrights Festival Coordinator and Lead Teaching Artist. “We were thrilled to celebrate the 30th anniversary of WRITE A PLAY along with these young artists’ bravery and hard work.”

This year, students, teachers, and families enjoyed a streamed performance called The Brave Princess & Other Winning Plays, featuring two years of winning plays brought to life by professional actors. Medals and certificates were sent home to the playwrights through their schools. Then on Saturday, June 5, all participants came together again virtually for a streamed awards ceremony, recognizing each playwright for their creative achievements.

Young Playwrights celebrate winning the 2021 WRITE A PLAY Program. Photo by Nicolas Saldivar.

“It’s important to do everything we can to provide some normalcy for children in what has been a very abnormal year,” shared Caroline Saldivar, FST’s Director of Children’s Theatre. “Even though the Young Playwrights Festival will be online this year, it is still incredibly important that we celebrate these young playwrights. We hope that their families and teachers rally around them, watch the video of their winning play in class or at home, and share it with family far and wide. We want everyone to know about these exceptional young artists and to share in their fantastic plays!”

FST’s award-winning WRITE A PLAY program is a year-round arts-in-education initiative, providing students with the example, the inspiration, and the skills to write their own original plays. Click here to learn more.