Today we’d like to present to you the new edition of an older project devoted to teenagers who write drama
Teenagers who have previously written drama or not became
motivated to take part in a play-writing competition. And they started writing
and were eventually successful in their endeavor.
The New Drama Playwriting Competition devoted to
teenagers aged between 14 and 18, organized at the Excelsior Theater in
Bucharest, has this year reached the 6th edition. Teenagers are
invited to write a one-act play and send it alongside a motivation letter on
the theater's address. The plays are assessed, like every year, by a jury of
theater professionals: playwrights, directors, theater critics. Following the
selection process, 6 of the plays will reach the final stage of the project,
and the winning play will be turned into a show to be staged in the next
theater season, and will become part of the Excelsior Theater's repertoire.
Elena Patap is the literary secretary of the
Excelsior Theater and the coordinator of the NEW DRAMA Playwriting Competition
project for teenagers. Next she will tell us how the idea of this competition
"The idea came from the simple fact that Excelsior Theater is the only theater
in Bucharest and even in Romania which targets a very special audience,
teenagers. Therefore, we have tried to make shows for teenagers and initiate
certain theater-related projects for them. We have this playwriting competition
for teenagers, a professional theater festival called TEENFEst and we also have
a theater laboratory for teens called Relief."
The authors of the 6 finalist plays benefit from
participation in a dramatic writing workshop given by a reputed playwright, and
there are reading shows based on the 6 finalist plays with professional
directors and actors, following which the winning play is designated.
For 6 years already, the New Drama Competition has
aroused teenagers' interest, and 99 plays from 45 localities of Romania were
registered in the first edition of the competition. The number of plays
registered in the competition differs from one year to another, and many of the
authors of the finalist plays are set to continue in the domain, as Elena
Patap, the project coordinator has told us.
"Indeed, the participants in the competition and especially those whose plays
were singled out for the final stage, are teenagers who make theater, act,
write drama, direct plays or perform in various high-school theater troupes. We
were pleasantly surprised to see that most of the finalists chose to pursue a
career in theater. For instance, Bogdan Capşa was 2nd ranked in our
competition and he is now a student with the Theater Department in Târgu Mureş,
Victor Morozov is a student with Screenwriting Department of the Grenoble
University from France, and Alexandru Gorghe, the winner of the 2018
competition, is a student with the Directing Department of the Theater Faculty
in Cluj, and also has a scholarship in London. The winner this year is Carmen
Thea Dragoreanu with a play entitled "Flat Earth Theory". The play wasn't
staged yet but is expected to be on at the end of the season in May-June,
according to the schedule. We have one staged though, the play that reaped the
award in 2018 entitled 'The Boy with Pink Socks' by Alexandru Gorghe, who was
at the time he wrote it a teenager and is now studying theatre direction in
Thea Dragoreanu, author of the 'Flat Earth Theory' is
18 years old now in the last high-school year and told us how she participated
in the contest.
Dragoreanu: "I've learnt about the
contest from my teacher of Romanian. I had attended a short prose contest last
year and said to myself: why not? I got the idea from the fact that I want to
help people with my writing and this time I could write a play for children and
Here is again Thea Dragoreanu at the microphone with
more on what her play is all about.
Dragoreanu: "A group of children, good
friends, are at the seaside and end up on a ship that was beached nearby.
During their adventure on that wreck some of them come to realize they
understood the love of their parents in a wrong manner."
This is an experience not many people can have, namely
to work with plays and prepare them for the stage.
Dragoreanu: "I saw that experience as
a very useful one. I thoroughly enjoyed to work with Peca Stefan, who is a
reputed playwright and helped us a lot. I also liked to meet other young people
who share the same dream. We read our plays, adjusted them, helped each other
out. It was like a dream coming true. I am in the 12th grade and
won't be able to attend all the staging process, but I promise to help as much
as I can. I want to become a film director. I have been influenced by my first
success, at the prose contest, and thought that making movies after my scripts
would be brilliant idea. That's where I got my ideas from."
Elena Patap, literary secretary with the Excelsior
Theatre and coordinator of the New Drama project, the aforementioned drama
contest for teenagers, has launched an invitation, with the hope that
participation this year will be as challenging as in the years past.
"I invite all teenagers who like theatre
to start writing, irrespective of the fact they have done that before or not,
irrespective of having seen theatre plays on the telly or in theatre halls.
It's important that they let their imagination run free and do that with joy.
We are looking forward to seeing what they can come up with!"