On script: The O'Neill's Young Playwrights Festival

The O'Neill's Young Playwrights Festival seems to just keep getting more popular.

This year, 142 scripts were submitted by local student writers. That's the largest number since the festival began eight years ago.

From those, the O'Neill selected five for development: "A World with Three Sides" by Carin Estey, Waterford High School; "Return of the Heroic Son" by Shawn Lee, Fitch Senior High School; "If" by Alyssa Serrambana, Classical Magnet School; "Pigeon" by Elijah Singer, New London High School; and "The Cinderella Predicament" by Megan Sturm, Clark Lane Middle School.

What those students will do, from Friday through Sunday: they will work with a professional director, dramaturg and actors on sharpening their script. They will be see their works be treated to script-in-hand readings Sunday in front of an audience.

Beyond that, a dozen other student playwrights will be part of the Guest Playwright Observation Program. Sophia Chapadjiev, who is the festival's director, says this is the most diverse festival yet, with eight schools represented and with subjects ranging from "stirring dramas to whodunit capers."

- KRISTINA DORSEY

Young Playwrights Festival, Friday-Sunday, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, 305 Great Neck Road, Waterford; performance 5 p.m. Sunday; free; 443-5378, theoneill.org.

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