Theatre and the performing arts are increasingly popular activities among many teens and young adults. More plays written specifically for teen actors are being created every year through festivals, competitions and programs across the country that promote the critical engagement of teenagers and young adults in the arts. Check out these five amazing collections of plays perfect for growing young artists!
Keen Teens seeks to improve the quality of plays written for high school students by commissioning scripts from highly regarded playwrights, and gives students the opportunity to work with professional artists in an Off-Broadway setting. Each year, the Keen Teens production culminates in the world premiere performances of three new plays at The Lion Theatre at Theatre Row. Keen Teens has produced the Off-Broadway debut of over 300 young performers in the past eight years.
THEATRE MASTERS’ TAKE TEN
Take Ten is a national 10-minute playwriting competition among the students at the top MFA Playwriting programs in the country hosted annually by Theatre Masters. 8-10 plays are chosen and the winning playwrights get to travel Aspen, Colorado and New York City for a professional workshop and critique of their work and then an Equity Showcase production of their plays. Theatre Masters strives to help bridge the gap between the training playwrights receive in MFA programs and the professional careers that are in their futures.
See the winning plays from the 2015 Festival in Theatre Masters’ Take Ten Volume I.
SIGNATURE IN THE SCHOOLS
Signature in the Schools is a multifaceted program that encompasses in-school workshops for Arlington Public Schools English, Social Studies, and Theater classes, theatrical training for young artists, and the creation of an original play. Each year, after the production is cast, director Joe Calarco writes a play specifically for that particular group of students, focusing on themes of the Arlington Public Schools Social Studies curriculum. Signature in the Schools reaches over 1,400 kids annually. Students engage critically with the historical subject of the play and develop strong theatrical and ensemble skills onstage and off.
FACING OUR TRUTH: TEN MINUTE PLAYS ON TRAYVON, RACE AND PRIVILEGE
In light of the George Zimmerman verdict, The New Black Fest commissioned eight very diverse playwrights to write six 10-minute plays on Trayvon Martin, race and/or privilege. Facing Our Truth’s purpose is to incite serious discussion in our collective communities around these urgent issues. These artists aren’t just sharing their work, but starting a conversation about important issues that aren’t recognized and explored nearly enough.
Read these insightful and moving plays in Facing Our Truth: Ten Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege.
From the nationally recognized Educational Theatre Association’s Thespian Playworks competition come four short scripts with unforgettable heroes – all created by high school-aged playwrights. Up to four high school students are chosen each year to participate in the EdTA’s play development workshops, during which the playwright and collaborates with actors, directors and dramaturgs to bring the play to life with minimal production elements. The student playwrights get to observe readings of their scripts, consult with their dramaturgs, receive and provide feedback and strengthen their plays. The process culminates in staged readings of the scripts during the Thespian Festival followed by an audience talkback!
Read these scripts, full of adventure and excitement, in these collections:
Thespian Playworks 2010
Thespian Playworks 2011
Thespian Playworks 2012
Thespian Playworks 2013
Thespian Playworks 2014
Thespian Playworks 2015