Pegasus Theatre Chicago Presents 29th Young Playwrights Festival

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BRIAN HAYES, Myka Buck and Keauna Pierce, Pegasus Theatre’s Young Playwrights. (Photo by Emily Schwartz)

Pegasus Theatre Chicago shines the spotlight on the next generation of authors at its 29th Young Playwrights Festival, featuring three world premiere works written by Chicago high school students and staged in a professional production. This year’s festival will play January 1 – 23, 2016 at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave. in Chicago.

The Young Playwrights Festival is a citywide playwriting competition that gives voice to Chicago high-schoolers by teaching them to craft one-act plays. The winning teens join with professional directors and actors to workshop and stage their scripts as part of Pegasus Theatre Chicago’s main stage season. The second oldest such festival in the country, the competition enhances language arts, encourages independent, high-level thinking and strong personal values and influences career development for area teens.

The 2015 competition, which encouraged students to explore the theme of “expectations,” received 500 submissions. This year’s winners include Myka Buck of Kenwood Academy (Our Little Secret), Brian Hayes of Taft High School (The Adventures of FeRB) and Keauna Pierce of Lane Tech High School (A Cup of Souls and One Grim Reaper, Please).

The 29th Young Playwrights Festival will feature Chris Acevedo, Chris Cinereski, Will Kiley, Shadana Patterson, Erica Pezza, Danielle Rennalls, Brenann Stacker and Eric Walter.

The lineup:

Our Little Secret: By Myka Buck (Kenwood Academy); Directed by Lavina Jadhwani. A high school senior, Tommy lives with her single, working mom. As senior prom excitement builds, Tommy struggles with coming out to her conservative mother.

The Adventures of FeRB: By Brian Hayes (Taft High School); Directed by Jason Fleece. It is the first day of school and FeRB is more excited than ever. He is an incoming freshmen and looking to finally make friends and find his true social group – until he meets Bradly, the social king of high school.

A Cup of Souls and One Grim Reaper, Please: By Keauna Pierce (Lane Tech High School); Directed by Ilesa Duncan. The new grim reaper, Dave, doesn’t like doing his job of collecting souls and dreams of traveling the world. However, his bosses have other things in mind. Does Dave get to make his dream come true – or does his view of his job change?

Performance Details:

Young Playwrights Festival: Location: Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago (theatre entrance around corner at Aberdeen and May streets).

Dates: Previews: Friday, January 1 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, January 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 3 at 3 p.m.

Regular run: Friday, January 8 – Saturday, January 23, 2016

Curtain Times: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Please note: there will be an added performance on Sunday, January 17 at 3 p.m.

Tickets: $30. Seniors $25; students $18. Tickets are currently available at www.PegasusTheatreChicago.org or by calling Ovation Tickets at (866) 811-4111. Teachers can book weekday matinees by calling (773) 878-8864.

About Pegasus Theatre Chicago: Pegasus Theatre Chicago has been a mainstay in the Chicago theater community for nearly 36 years. Its recently rebranded mission is to produce boldly imaginative theatre, champion new and authentic voices and illuminate the human journey. It adheres to the core values of community engagement, social relevance, boldness, adventure and excellence.

Pegasus Theatre is partially supported by grants from the MacArthur Fund at Richard Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Polk Bros. Foundation, the Seabury Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the City of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel Mayor/DCASE (Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), Chicago Community Trust and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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