Young Playwrights in the Spotlight 

This winter the Playwrights Project will produce its 31st Annual Festival of Plays by Young Writers at The Old Globe, featuring winning scripts from their California Young Playwrights Contest for ages 18 and under. Of the 269 submissions, four scripts will receive professional productions in full, and two scripts will receive staged readings at the festival. All of this year’s playwrights happen to be female, and each of their scripts involves personal discovery – including that of 92129 residents and contest winners Sydney Alper and Koushiki Bhattacharya. Both students will see their plays performed as a staged reading directed by Chelsea Kaufman.

Sydney, an 11-year-old student at Mesa Verde Middle School (MVMS), has been recognized for her play Daisy’s Journey which is about a flower who finds that warmth and friendship can come from unexpected places. Sydney took part in a playwriting residency in Ms. Blackmore’s class at MVMS led by Deborah Salzer. The Secret of Adventure by 12-year-old MVMS student Koushiki Bhattacharya tells the story of a puppy who struggles to find out what she wants: a life of freedom or a life of comfort with her owner. Koushiki wrote her winning script in a playwriting program at her school, which was taught by Tori Rice in Ms. Kimble-Manalo’s classroom. The festival will run from Jan. 23 to 31 in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre in the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center at The Old Globe. Learn more at www.playwrightsproject.org.