Young Playwrights Festival Day at Florida Studio Theatre

Arts & Culture

Pictured: 2022 Young Playwrights Festival Day. Photo courtesy of FST.

“I think we often recognize young people for athletic and academic achievements, but we can forget to recognize their artistic and creative achievements,” says Caroline Saldivar, the Director of Children’s Theatre at Florida Studio Theatre. “Playwriting is a form of creativity that’s different from being a visual artist or being on the stage, it’s something that happens in your mind that you record on the page.”

This weekend FST is celebrating the creativity of young playwrights with their Young Playwrights Festival Day, the annual culmination of FST’s Write A Play program. Write A Play, which FST launched in 1991, is a year-round arts-in-education initiative designed to foster creativity in students by teaching them how to write their very own play. “The Write A Play program starts in the fall and takes place over the entire school year,” says Saldivar. “Children either come to FST or have a touring show of ours come to their schools, where they will see a production of what we call an ‘example play’—this year it was Charlotte’s Web and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Our playmakers tour had actors go to school all throughout Florida and even to Memphis, Tennessee. After that, those same actors will go into classrooms and teach an introduction to playwriting for kindergarten through 6th grade. The students start by writing a group play and then progress to working with their teacher to write their own personal play.”

This year, FST’s Write A Play program received over 4,200 submissions from student playwrights located all over the map, from FLorida to upstate New York and even Israel. At the Young Playwrights Festival Day, participating students, teachers, and their families can come to FST to see live performances of this year’s winning plays. “This year’s compilation is titled The Last Acorn & Other Winning Plays. We’ll have live performances of the winning plays in addition to a bid reception for these winning playwrights,” says Saldivar. “It’s kind of like a gala for eight-year-olds. We really think of our young playwrights as some of the most important people in the community right now. They are creatives that are creating right now and we want to celebrate them and make them feel special.”

1241 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. 

Pictured: 2022 Young Playwrights Festival Day. Photo courtesy of FST.

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