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 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 was born:
Elena Patap: "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.
Elena Patap: "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 London."
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.
Thea 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 parents."
Here is again Thea Dragoreanu at the microphone with more on what her play is all about.
Thea 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.
Thea 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.
Elena Patap: "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!"