Press Release: 2014 Young Playwrights Contest Winners

June 10th, 2014 / Posted in Press Releases

For Immediate Release:


Six middle and high school student playwrights from Western PA receive professional productions at City Theatre

PITTSBURGH, PA (June 10, 2014)—City Theatre is pleased to announce six Young Playwrights Contest winners who will develop their scripts in collaboration with professional theatre artists—a director, dramaturgs, and actors—for productions in City Theatre’s Hamburg Studio during the 15th annual Young Playwrights Festival, September 30 – October 10, 2014.

Middle School Winners:

Attack of the Psycho Geese from Outer Space!
by Weston Custer
Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12

The Bat Boy
by Joseph Bornes
Sharpsville Area Middle School

by Michelle Do
North Hills Middle School

High School Winners:

The Cellar
by Casey Zadinski
South Fayette High School

by Michael Kelly
Moon Area High School

Dream House
by Drew Praskovich
Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12

In addition to producing the six winning plays, City Theatre will also feature readings of three plays that were selected as Young Playwrights Contest finalists, as follows.


Catch That Bird
by Brenda Nicole Dressel
Canon-McMillan High School

God Hates Pancakes
by Madeline Smith
Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12

The Now
by Daniel DiFabio
Washington High School

The winning and finalist one-act plays were selected from a record 305 Young Playwrights Contest submissions. Students from middle and high schools in Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia are eligible to participate. Each script is read by at least two members of the Literary Committee, comprised of 60 theatre professionals from across the United States. All writers who submit scripts receive constructive criticism and encouraging suggestions for continued revisions.

“Young Playwrights encourages student writers to make their voices heard and to take ownership of their work in a professional, artistic environment,” says Kristen Link, City Theatre’s Director of Education and Accessibility. “Through our playwriting program, students not only learn a new craft, but also discover different ways to think critically, connect with their peers, and form valuable networks within the local theatre industry.”

This October, City Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival will showcase diverse theatrical storytelling, including identity crisis in Barbie and Ken’s Dream House, adventures with a psycho goose from outer space, and more. Subjects tackled range from sports and time travel to alcoholism and death in combat, with imaginative stage directions and vivid characters throughout.

Young Playwrights Festival tickets will go on sale September 2, online at or by phone at 412.431.2489. The full festival schedule will be announced.

Young Playwrights is City Theatre’s comprehensive, dynamic approach to arts education serving teachers, students, and the Pittsburgh community. The program fulfills state and Common Core academic standards, including Arts & Humanities and Reading, Writing, Speaking, & Listening. Four major components make up the Young Playwrights program: the Young Playwrights Teacher Institute, In-School Workshops, the Young Playwrights Contest, and the Young Playwrights Festival.

City Theatre’s 40th anniversary season begins this fall. Located on Pittsburgh’s historic South Side, City Theatre specializes in new plays, commissioning and producing work by playwrights including Daniel Beaty, Jessica Dickey, Christopher Durang, Michael Hollinger, Willy Holtzman, Tarell McCraney, and Theresa Rebeck. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tracy Brigden, Managing Director Mark R. Power, and a 45-member Board of Directors, City Theatre’s mission is to provide an artistic home for the development and production of contemporary plays of substance and ideas that engage and challenge a diverse audience.