Winners of young playwright competition announced

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DORSET — Students from Stratton Mountain School, Burr and Burton Academy and Maple Street School have won this year's Jean E. Miller Young Playwrights Competition, Dorset Theatre Festival has announced.

This year's high school winners are Clarissa Pollard from Stratton Mountain School (faculty mentor: Mary Mangiacotti) and Zoe Grigsby from Burr & Burton Academy (faculty mentor: James Raposa).

The winning plays in the middle school category were both co-authored, and the winners are: Addie Dennes and Anna Markcrow, and Kaya Pedersen and Clara Vickers, all from Maple Street School (faculty mentor: Conor Welch).

A public reading of this year's winning works will be held on Monday, Nov. 18, at 7 pm. at Manchester Community Library, located at 138 Cemetery Ave., Manchester. The reading is free and open to the public. Seating is general admission, and no ticket is required.

The Dorset Theatre Festival provides opportunities for regional middle and high school students to learn about playwriting and create a play of their own through its annual Young Playwrights Competition.

The competition is an annual collaboration between Dorset Theatre Festival and local schools. Each spring, visiting playwrights and Bennington College mentors teach a series of playwriting workshops at participating schools, after which students are invited to submit a short play for adjudication by a panel of nationally recognized playwrights. Winners are chosen in autumn, and their works are then given a public reading.

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Ten Vermont schools participated in this year's workshops, from which 50 plays were submitted to the competition.

Jessieh Ruth Averitt was this year's visiting playwright. Averitt is a researcher, playwright and theatre artist living and working primarily in Philadelphia, where she established Other Case Notes Ensemble.

As a teaching artist, she has worked with arts educators and community arts initiatives to provide consultation to students and their mentors. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, Averitt was a resident of Dorset, after graduating from Bennington College.

Averitt praised the teachers whose classrooms she visited, as well as the students participating in the program. "I was in awe of the work each of the teachers had done with their students, and amazed by the quality of the

students' questions, curiosities, and creativity put into practice with words," she said.

The Jean E. Miller Young Playwrights Competition is funded in part by a grant from the Windham Foundation. For more information, visit dorsettheatrefestival.org.


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