Six Connecticut students were selected from among 85 applicant for the 11th annual "Write On," Hartford Stage's annual young playwrights competition.
Over the following months, students will work with a professional playwright through a series of writing workshops to develop their own 10-minute play to be presented in the spring by a team of professional directors and actors.
Aetna New Voices Fellow Marcus Gardley.
Gardley is a poet-playwright whose most recent play "every tongue confess" premiered at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, starring Phylicia Rashad and directed by Kenny Leon and has been nominated for the Steinberg New Play Award and the Charles MacArthur Award for outstanding new play.The students are (descriptions supplied by Hartford Stage):
Ali Demopoulos is 16 years old and a junior at Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut. She has served on student council, as an Opinion and World News editor for her school's newspaper, appeared in two Porter's stage productions, and is on the varsity swim team. This is her second year as a Write On participant, having previously written a 10-minute play titled Unfinished Business in 2010-11. Ali is excited to see where the program will lead her this year.
Morgan Finn is 17 years old and a senior at Bristol Central High School. Along with her writing, she participates in the school's theater program, Footlights, and she is also a member of the school newspaper, RAMpage. She started writing at a young age and has never stopped. Her recent achievements include winning the 2010 Hartford County Poetry Championship through Connecticut Young Writers for her poem, “Where I Come From,” and winning the 2011 Academic Bowl in poetry for her poem, “Buzz Cut.” She hopes to continue her writing and acting in college.
Cameron Tyson Harrison was born in Chesapeake, Virginia and moved to Connecticut ten years ago. In the last few years, Cameron has become interested in comedy and cites Judd Apatow as his biggest influence. Cameron is 16 years old and has participated in the summer circus program at Oddfellows Playhouse and is currently a junior at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts where he is a Creative Writing major. Cameron hopes to make great art that people can relate to and that will also make them laugh.
Andre Anthony Mitchell moved to America from Jamaica when he was two years old. He first lived in Hartford but then moved to West Hartford to begin first grade. He is 16 years old and currently a senior at Hall High School. He is a defenseman on Hall’s varsity lacrosse team and high jumper for the varsity indoor track team.
Will Niedmann is 17 years old and a senior at Conard High School in West Hartford. He embraces all aspects of theatre: He is the co-founder and director of Parachute, a longform improvisation troupe, and has had lead roles in his school's productions of M*A*S*H and Six Degrees of Separation. His favorite role in theatre is that of the playwright. In his junior year, he wrote, produced and co-directed A Decadence, which he describes as “a pre-apocalyptic dark comedy.” He is thrilled to be a part of the Write On program, to take part in Brand: NEW, and to create new works with his fellow aspiring playwrights.
Jullisa Webb is a 17-year-old Hartford resident and a senior at Classical Magnet School. She prides herself on being honest and industrious, as well as thoughtful, caring and amicable. Her interests include music, poetry and dancing, but poetry is probably her favorite. She feels that her poetry has something that anyone can relate to. She is currently participating in her second semester of playwriting class at school, where she produced her first ten-minute play, an adaptation of Cinderella, during her junior year.