Top Ten Distinguished Plays of 2020

In the midst of our country’s accelerated civil rights movement and the societal paradigm-shift of the pandemic, we at MCT have been fortunate to continue our solicitation of the work of young voices of the region. We wish not only to honor their work, as it is one of the things we can still do while many of our operations remain dormant or in flux, but also to lift up the good news of continued storytelling from those who will be (and in many cases already are) the vanguard of our future artist-citizen population.
From a pool of 90 one-act plays submitted to MCT’s Young Playwrights Festival Playwriting Competition this year, the following are our Top Ten selections.

Congratulations, playwrights!

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

2021 Young Playwrights Festival Playwriting Competition

 

MCT seeks one-act plays for our annual YPF Playwriting Competition!

 

Playwrights finishing grades 9-12: Submit an original one-act play not yet produced to MCT’s annual competition for emerging Wisconsin playwrights. Ten plays will be chosen this year as the Top Ten Distinguished Plays of 2021 and enter the final round for a potential professional premiere in YPF Showcase 2023.

 

Deadline

Submission via Google Form or email: timestamped by June 1, 2021, 11:59 PM

Submission via hard copy: postmarked by June 1, 2021

 

Eligibility

Playwrights must be Wisconsin students in grades 9-12 during the 2020-2021 school year. MCT especially encourages entries from our community (students in the Metro Milwaukee area and surrounding region). Plays entered must have had no prior production in a professional setting.

 

To Submit Your Play to the YPF Playwriting Competition

  • Complete your play using the required format below.

  • Submit your entry via the 2021 YPF Playwriting Competition Entry Form.

    • You will have the option to upload your play to this Google Form.

    • If you have any difficulty accessing the Google Form or uploading your play, contact Marcella Kearns for alternative options.

 

Required Format

  • Scripts must be typed, original plays on any subject suitable for a high school audience. MCT can provide a writeable template or sample format if you would like to use one. Format as follows:

    • a title page with your name

    • a character/setting page

    • a complete script

  • Preferred play length is 15-20 pages.

  • The play’s cast must require no more than six actors, including non-speaking roles. A single location is strongly recommended for your setting for the sake of any potential production.

 

Selection and Notification of Winning Entries, Prizes, and Next Steps

  • Scripts will be read and considered anonymously; hard copies submitted will not be returned.

  • The YPF Playwriting Competition runs on an annual finalist selection and biennial showcase cycle. Plays distinguished as the Top Ten of 2021 will be announced in early July 2021.

  • The Top Ten Plays of 2021 will join the Top Ten of 2022 as finalists in our YPF Showcase review and competition in summer 2022. The top six plays will subsequently be produced or read in our 2023

  • YPF Showcase and receive cash prizes; playwrights will be invited to partake in the production process.

 

For Questions or More Information Drop Marcy a line at marcella@milwaukeechambertheatre.org. We always love to hear from you

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BLACK LIVES MATTER: OR DO THEY?
by Imani Hankins
Golda Meir High School
Mentor teacher: Tyne Turner
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
A young woman finds words to express how celebrating Black History Month in school is not enough.
“I started to have a voice when I realized that I had one.”


THE DEPARTING LUNCHEON
by Nasya Miller
Messmer High School
Mentor teacher: Zachary Ziegler
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
A friendship is tested when one of the pair can’t bring herself to tell the other she is moving.
“…those are three days lost that we could have spent together!”


GIVE UP GIRLS
by Elysium Morss
Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School
Mentor teacher: Carrie Baker-Jackson
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
Two young siblings rely on each other to manage and rise above a family member’s addiction.
“So… let’s make a plan. And we both need to stick by it.”


HELP WANTED: INQUIRE WITHIN
by Addy Grace
Rufus King International High School
Mentor teacher: Kelly O’Keefe-Boettcher
Independent submission
A mysterious mentor guides a teenager through managing anxiety, change, love, and the future.
“You look like you just saw a ghost, Red.”


JUST FRIENDS
by Bianna Townsend
Messmer High School
Mentor teacher: Zachary Ziegler
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
Two friends at State Fair discover they’re in a love triangle—and agree there’s only one way out.
“…I didn’t want you to find out this way.”

LUCIFER JR.
by Dexx Spychala
Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School
Mentor teacher: Carrie Baker-Jackson
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
Think it’s tough being a teenager? Try being the teenage kid of Satan.
“Lucifer Junior Satan, heir to the throne of Hell, I am your father and you shall do as I say!”


LUNCH TABLE
by Jasmin Rivera-Gonzalez
Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School
Mentor teacher: Carrie Baker Jackson
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
Sometimes a friendship just can’t be repaired.
“Jesse said something rude and won’t accept it’s wrong.”


PHASE 4
by Charlie Voith
Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School
Mentor teacher: Carrie Baker Jackson
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
Teens scramble to cover their tracks when they see a movie before their friend—a big fan—has the chance to go.
“It’ll be tough work, we’ve gotta stay on guard.”


THE ROAD TO FAMILY
by Sophia De Los Santos
Cristo Rey Jesuit High School
Mentor teacher: Catie O’Donnell
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
When their father is deported, two siblings must learn to reframe what family means to them.
“I really needed you today.”


TO MAKE HISTORY AND LET OTHERS WRITE ABOUT IT
by Imanol S. Ruiz
Cristo Rey Jesuit High School
Mentor teacher: Catie O’Donnell
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
Inspired by a true story: a priest reflects on his history with a pupil whose name the world would one day know.
“Si, todo Cuba conocerá el nombre de Fidel Castro.”

Top Ten Distinguished Plays of 2019

A DIFFERENT LIFE
by Sabrina Arassi
Brookfield Academy
Mentor teacher: Wes Schultz
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
A daughter of Iranian immigrants persuades them to share their story of music and revolution.
“You were born in America, you are an American, this has nothing to do with race.”


BETWEEN BENCHES
by John Sellars
Homestead High School
Mentor teacher: Angelina Cicero
Independent submission
Family secrets at a father’s funeral unfold alongside a silent, and often invisible, observer.
“He needs to be paid his proper respects.”


BLOOM.
by Sylvie Arnold
Brookfield Academy
Mentor teacher: Wes Schultz
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
A young woman’s travels through life and art lead her through pain to freedom.
“I…write poetry. In the margins.”


CAN’T LEAVE HIM ALONE
by Diana Sanchez
Messmer High School
Mentor teacher: Zachary Ziegler
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
Misunderstandings and confrontations at a house party escalate beyond everyone’s intent.
“It is not that I don’t get you but this happens all the time…”



DANCE WITH ME
by Hanah Galvan
Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School
Mentor teacher: Carrie Baker Jackson
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
A high school student in the U.S. collides with and embraces her Ecuadorian heritage.
“My name is Ylla. Not Ella.”


 

ECHO
by Kate Ketelhohn
Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School
Mentor teacher: Nate Krug
Independent submission
The ancient myth of Echo and Narcissus is retold in an ominous distant future.
“You talk too much for a secretary. You are dismissed.”


PINHEADS
by Zach Rolf
Pius XI Catholic High School
Mentor teacher: Kevin Schwartz/Jonathan Davidson
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
Hard-pressed coach Bob tries to rally his team to victory in a family bowling tournament.
“Not that big a deal? That’s like saying that water or breathing are not that big a deal.”


R/WHOOSH
by Irvin Palmer
Messmer High School
Mentor teacher: Zachary Ziegler
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
Two high school students realize they’re in a play, and the sky’s the limit.
“WE’RE LITERALLY WORDS ON A PIECE OF PAPER RIGHT NOW”


THE ARRANGED MARRIAGE
by Samia Sheikh
Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School
Mentor teacher: Carrie Baker Jackson
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
A young couple facing an arranged marriage lay down some ground rules with their parents.
“Would it be odd if I do actually like you?”


TRUTH OR TRUTH
by Indigo Dawn Lubotsky
Pius XI Catholic High School
Mentor teacher: Kevin Schwartz
YPF Playwriting Residency participant
Over a casual hangout, two friends learn a secret about each other that will make their day.
“I don’t want this weekend to end.”


 

The 20-21 Young Playwrights Festival is made possible with support from

Bader Philanthropies

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UPAF Bright Minds, presented by BMO Harris Bank

Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors Youth Foundation