New Voices

FST's Festival Day Celebrates Young Playwrights

Every year, the festival presents winning plays by students aged 5-18.

By Kay Kipling May 24, 2017

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Playwrights Fiona Davey and Ella Morten with the FST Apprentice Company. Also pictured: Caroline Kaiser, director of children's theater, and Adam Ratner, Young Playwrights Festival coordinator.


Ever wonder where tomorrow’s playwrights are coming from? Florida Studio Theatre’s annual Young Playwrights Festival may hold the answer.

The 2017 festival celebrated the work of a host of young writers, beginning with the arrival of play submissions by more than 3,600 of them, aged 5-18, in the Write a Play program, and culminating this past Saturday with a festival day welcoming the playwrights, their families and the educators who helped guide them. The winning plays of the festival have been presented onstage at FST in The Dragon vs. The Hiccups & Other Winning Plays, with more than 12,000 Sarasota and Manatee County students attending performances; Friday, May 26, is the last date to catch the show, and tickets are just $10.

FST’s Jason Cannon, who has directed 13 FST children’s theater productions, says, “Children write the plays that adults have forgotten to write…they create worlds and characters and images that adults shy away from because we’ve been trained to censor and doubt ourselves.”

To learn more about the WAP program, which also includes a fall children’s show, a Playmaker’s Tour featuring acting apprentices in the schools, and the creation of hundreds of plays, visit To see more of the young playwrights’ faces from Festival Day, look below.

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Malia Lally, Ocean Brunius (playwright) and Gabby Celis

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Chloe Johnson, playwright for Drip, Drop!

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FST's Kate Alexander, keynote speaker Emily Mann, and Georgia Court

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Honorable mention playwright Scout Erby with mother Lisa

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Educator of the Year Tamar Pilosoph, playwright Danielle Paz. Play title: My Twin Brother, from Shelanu School, Tel Mond, Israel


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