O'Neill hosts young playwrights

A scene from one of last year's stagings at the Young Playwrights Festival

The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center received a raft of submissions - 134, to be exact - for its Young Playwrights Festival.

From those, it chose five plays to develop and perform this weekend. The winners are:

• "Our Founding Fathers" by Kelly O'Connor, age 13; Clark Lane Middle School

• "Explanations" by Emily Patten, age 17; St. Bernard School

• "Thirty Years Young" by Tiffany Avallone, age 17; Waterford High School

• "Dayton's Saxophone" by Matthew Alfultis, age 16; Waterford High School

• "Happy as a Clam" by Lisa Mueller, age 16; Rockville High School

They'll work with a professional creative team - director, dramaturg, actors - as they hone their plays and see their script become something live onstage.

Also, 12 more young playwrights will participate in the Guest Playwright Observation Program: Dylan Abate, Daron Chandler, Renee Harms, Emily Harper, Julia Little, Jeannette Mooney, Andrew Pedro, Nulin Phrommavanh, Ashley Roselund, Yvonne Sadinsky, Molly Young, and Bowei Zhao.

Sophia Chapadjiev, who is the festival's director, said: "Our hope with the Young Playwrights Festival is to help foster the voices of the future by giving young writers the same nurturance and respect our professional playwrights receive during the summer conferences."

- KRISTINA DORSEY

Young Playwrights Festival, 5 p.m. Sunday, Dina Merrill Theater, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, 305 Great Neck Road, Waterford; script-in-hand public readings; free; theoneill.org.

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