Local high-school seniors and aspiring playwrights are chosen by Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. as prizewinners of the Student Playwright Festival. Each playwright receives a $500 scholarship and is paired with a Houston-based playwright as a mentor who works in tandem to fine-tune the plays and prepare them for production. The students are guests of honor as their plays are performed at MATCH – Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston in June of each year
Call for Entries are available in December.
In 2018, aspiring playwrights William Miner, Carter A. Prentiss and Addison Antonoff were chosen as prizewinners of the DDTCo. inaugural Student Playwright Festival on June 6, 2018.
Carter A. Prentiss, a senior at Dulles High School in Fort Bend County, debuts his play Cassandra about a conversation between two college boys that begins when one—an aspiring journalist—writes about sexual assault. Questions are asked, but the answers are not always what we want to hear. Prentiss was mentored by Ted Swindley, who is known for creating the worldwide hit musical Always…Patsy Cline and is the Founding Artistic Director of Stages Repertory Theatre. Cassandra was directed by John Patterson, whose directorial credits include Talk, Radio, Bright Ideas, Hunter Gatherers, and Lone Star/Laundry and Bourbon.
William Miner, a senior at The Kinkaid School, describes his play, Insomnia as the story of James, a 10-year-old boy suffering from anxiety and insomnia, who is tormented nightly by two demons...and this is the night it ends. Miner was mentored by Gwen Flager, whose play Shakin’ the Blue Flamingo premiered in 2018 as part of Queensbury Theatre’s New Works Development Program. Insomnia was perfectly paired with director Ananka Kohnitz, well-known in the Houston theatre community for presenting dark plays such as Bug and The Beauty Queen of Leenane.
Addison Antonoff, a senior at The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, presented her ten-minute play, The Mother, The Son, and The Holy Deli. This laugh-out-loud look at antisemitism within a Christian-centric community features Mary, the stereotypical Jewish mother, berating her son over the dangers of his lifestyle. Antonoff was mentored by author and playwright, Doug Williams, best known to Houston and DDTCo. audiences as co-author of The Boundary. The Mother, The Son, and The Holy Deli was directed by John Mitsakis, who has been at the helm of numerous productions, including One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, American Buffalo, The Middle Ages and Saturn Returns.
In 2019, plays by local high-school seniors, Sierra Butterwick, Lauren Dodds, and Amado Velasco were chosen by Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. as prizewinners for the second annual Student Playwright Festival.