Ensemble Theatre Company Accepting Applications for 4th Annual Young Playwrights Festival
Ensemble Theatre Company, Santa Barbara’s professional theater, is now accepting applications for its 4th Annual Young Playwrights’ Festival for aspiring writers aged 13-19. This four month-long program provides young writers a safe and nurturing environment in which to learn the craft of playwriting. As part of the process, the participants develop a 10-minute play that is subsequently produced and staged with professional directors and actors for public audiences. The program will accept up to 20 students from Santa Barbara County and there is no cost to participate.
Students in the Young Playwright Festival program will receive multiple and varied opportunities to develop their creativity and gain artistic skills. Phase one includes weekly classroom instruction focusing on the study of playwriting techniques, a brief history of American theater and a lively forum for discussion and critique of student work. At the completion of this first phase, students will have completed a draft of a 10-minute play. Phase Two provides one-on-one mentoring from a professional playwright to help students engage in the revision process. Phase Three gives students the opportunity to participate in a live casting session with professional actors, develop a creative collaboration with an experienced theater director and actors to produce a live staged reading in front of an audience, as well as participate in an on-stage talk-back session with audience members.
“Responsibility to the story is the thing,” says ETC Education Director Brian McDonald. “And the development of storytellers for the future of the American Theater may be one of the most valuable youth educational programs that Ensemble Theatre Company can offer the Santa Barbara community.”
The YPF program will begin online with the hopes of having an in-person presentation on the stage of The New Vic, ETC’s state-of-art venue, in late May 2021.
The deadline to apply is January 31, 2021. Applications may be found online at https://etcsb.org/education/young-playwrights-festival.
This year’s festival received a $19,000 grant award from California Arts Council which supports projects for youth from infancy through age 24 that operate outside of school time, in artistic venues and community settings as well as on school sites. This program encourages relevant, dynamic, and innovative community building and learning through youth-focused arts and culture projects.
“Arts and culture are inextricably linked to our humanity,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council Chair. “They serve as a universal touchpoint for understanding and addressing our societal issues—dismantling inequity, healing trauma, reframing justice, inspiring truth and shaping futures. The Council is humbled to support the vital work of Ensemble Theatre Company and its passionate efforts to make a better California for us all.”
Ensemble Theatre Company's mission is to engage audiences with entertaining, compelling and thought-provoking theatrical productions and provide engaging theater education programs for youth and our theater audience. We present important new plays and interpretations of the classics for a broad audience in Santa Barbara and the region.
Summary of core organizational programs and services: An annual season of five productions lies at the heart of ETC’s artistic programs. The company’s goal is to present groundbreaking new plays and inventive interpretations of the classics with the highest level of artistry by engaging top actors and designers and fully utilizing the scenic advantages of the company’s theater space the New Vic, a newly renovated state-of-the-art theater that seats 294 audience members. ETC’s season offerings draw nearly 20,000 patrons annually in Santa Barbara and the south/central California coast region.
In addition to presenting highly-professional theatrical productions, ETC also utilizes its skilled and artistic resources and matchless venue to engage our youth and community through its newly expanded Theater Education Outreach initiative. This initiative includes innovative Student and Teacher Theater Workshops, a Student Matinee Program, master classes, the Young Playwrights Festival and summer youth performances camps and intensives.
The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.
Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Larry Baza, Juan Devis, Jodie Evans, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Donn K. Harris, and Louise McGuinness. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.