About the Show
The teenage mind gets a dramatic exploration when the Gorilla Theatre presents its 12th annual Young Dramatists’ Project, which opens May 31 for eight performances at the TECO Energy Foundation Theatre in the Patel Conservatory.
The answer to “what are they thinking?” gets a variety of responses in the five plays selected as winners in this year’s competition to receive full productions by the Gorilla Theatre. The plays range from the highly comic to probing dramas.
This year more than 30 students from high school and middle schools all over the Tampa Bay area submitted scripts. Those playwrights who are selected receive mentoring by local dramaturge and YDP Artistic Director, James Rayfield, in preparation for their debut production. Also, each is given a royalty of $250 for each produced play, a professional production and paid membership into the Dramatists’ Guild (the professional association of playwrights, lyricists and composers).
Three well-known local directors, Chris Jackson, Giles Davies and James Rayfield, will direct the plays.
THIS YEAR’S WINNING PLAYWRIGHTS AND PLAYS:
Of the five selected only one is by a returning author. Hannah Miribiha (Northeast High School) was co-author of last year’s Waiting for Abigail. This year her play Icarus uses the classic myth to explore a father and son relationship and the nature and cost of freedom.
Full Arc by Sarah Cohen (Berkeley Preparatory School) is set in a pediatric mental hospital when an inarticulate and delusional girl struggles to overcome her fears. Her doctor uses art therapy which is successful, but her relationship with a fellow patient may be her real salvation.
Lost love, which is so painful for the teenage heart, is the theme of It’s the Way You Heal by Isabella Menna (Shorecrest Preparatory School). The dark play moves from hope to a shocking finale.
A Room with Two People, forces us to consider ethical and moral decisions when two strangers find themselves in a nameless space. Jillian Boyar’s (Bloomingdale Senior High School) play creates two diverse characters – a successful business woman and a street person – who challenge each other to find the truth.
The comedy, and also the only play by a male this year, is a rather frank look at sex obsessed teens and their pact to stay focused on other things for one entire month. Alex Gonzalez (Hillsborough High School), the playwright, will also act in this production. The Gorilla Theatre is recommending parental guidance because of the sexual discussion.