2019-2020 Young Playwright’s Challenge Announced by Magnus Theatre

Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay 800 px
Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY – Magnus Theatre is proud to announce the winners of the 2019-2020 Young Playwright’s Challenge.

The first prize was awarded to Chase Lester for BIRTHDAY CANDLES with runner up Walker Lucchese for MAYBE TOMORROW. GOOD ENOUGH by Brynn Green rounded out the top three finalists.

The winners receive a cash prize and the opportunity to workshop their scripts with theatre professionals before the works are rehearsed and performed in a staged reading. Scripts are selected by a jury of theatre professionals based on established criteria that include works that are original, captivating, and easy to follow, with a demonstrated character development throughout.

For the past several years since the relaunch of the Young Playwright’s Challenge, the showcase was always done in person at Magnus Theatre, but this year most of the process took place online, from virtual workshops with the winners, to rehearsals, to the final showcase. The showcase was recorded via video conferencing and will be packaged and posted on Magnus Theatre’s YouTube page.

Fourteen local youth actors were used across the three shows, including current and former Theatre in Education students, as well as theatre enthusiasts from the community.

“The digital rehearsal process was interesting,” said Theatre in Education Director Danielle Chandler. “In some ways, it was better than the traditional showcase. As we rehearsed, I figured out a few tricks that facilitated the production of theatre through a video platform, like the ability to have students enter and exit which is not an option in a typical readthrough.”

The Young Playwright’s Challenge is a component of Magnus Theatre’s New Play Development and Theatre in Education programs, which also include year-round theatre classes for all ages, March Break and summer drama camps, workshops in schools, Young Company, and the youth-led Collective Creation Project.

“The act of creation is important to the sustainability of theatre in our region. If we aren’t getting youth involved in playwriting, we are inevitably limiting the voices coming out of Northwestern Ontario in the future,” said Chandler.

The Young Playwright’s Challenge Showcase will be released on Friday, August 7th on Magnus Theatre’s Facebook and YouTube pages and website at https://magnustheatre.com/ypc/.