Budding playwright Grace Raiford, a rising 11th grader at Rappahannock County High School, recently submitted the script for her original one-act play, “The Odyssey of Timothy and Peter,” to the statewide “New Voices for the Theater” playwright competition. Obviously one purpose was to see how her script stacked up to other playwriting around the commonwealth.
The answer is pretty well. Grace, who lives in Castleton, has just learned that her “Odyssey” has been judged one of the eight best scripts in the state.
The New Voices for the Theater playwriting competition provides an opportunity for the top student playwrights to work closely with professional theater artists during a two-week residency in Richmond, where they will eventually bring their original one-act plays to life on stage.
But first during the residency the young playwrights will participate in workshops, and even have the opportunity to revise their individual scripts. The students will also get to work with this year’s New Voices Playwright-in-Residence Bob Bartlett, along with other theater professionals and writers.
The plays will then be premiered as staged readings during the 29th Annual Festival of New Works, to be held July 13 and 14.
During their residency in Richmond, which is from June 30 through July 15, the young playwrights will be housed on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.
A dramatist based in Washington, D.C., Bartlett’s works have been commissioned, produced, and developed at The Kennedy Center and Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, among other major venues. His plays include The Orbit of Mercury, Swimming with Whales, The Accident Bear, Falwell, Kuchu Uganda, Greetings from Youngstown, and Kansas.