Syracuse Stage announces new writing competition for middle school students

SYRACUSE, NY – Central New York middle school students will have an opportunity to participate in a nationwide playwriting competition as Syracuse Stage serves as a regional host for Word to the World—Young Playwrights for Change.

Entering its fourth year, Young Playwrights for Change is a collaborative national middle school playwriting competition run by Theatre for Young Audiences/USA (TYA/USA) and the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE). Around the country, local theatres serve as regional sponsors for the competition.  Students submit plays to the regional sponsor, in this case Syracuse Stage, which is the first theatre in Central New York to host the competition.  The winners of each regional contest will have their plays entered in the national competition.

The mission of Young Playwrights for Change is to produce meaningful conversations that will ripple across the nation to provoke change. The goal is to spark conversation and discussion throughout classrooms, schools, and communities. Each year, students are asked to address a specific topic in their plays. The theme for 2016/2017 is Anti-Bullying. Plays must be no longer than 10 minutes in duration.Syracuse Stage button_Small

Young Playwrights for Change is open to students grades 6 – 8. As a regional host, Syracuse Stage will accept two entries selected by teachers from each participating school. The deadline for submission to Syracuse Stage is Nov. 4. Writers of the submitted plays will be invited to Syracuse Stage for workshops on Nov. 19 and Dec. 10. Final play revisions will be due at Syracuse Stage no later than Dec. 23.

Syracuse Stage will announce the winner of the regional contest on Jan. 6, 2017. The winning play will then be entered in the national competition, and will also be performed in April as part of Syracuse Stage’s annual high school Young Playwrights Festival.

The winner of the national competition, along with a parent or guardian, will be invited to a theatre convention for a reading of the winning play. The winning play and up to eight others will also be included in an anthology published by TYA Press.

Teachers interested in participating in the regional contest are invited to attend information sessions at Syracuse Stage on Sep. 15 and 22 at 4 p.m. For more information, or to reserve a place at the information sessions, contact Kate Laissle, assistant director of education, Syracuse Stage, at 442-7755 or