Febuary 10, 2011

Time Out New York

By Raven Snook

We've written about Writopia Lab before we highlighted the spot as a great place for after-school classes just last year. Launched by seasoned journalist and Upper West Side mom Rebecca Wallace-Segall back in 2007, the nonprofit runs creative writing programs for kids ages 8 to 18 in Manhattan and, as of this month, in Brooklyn, too. In addition to its intimate workshops (in fiction, nonfiction, film scripts, plays, poetry and even college essays), Writopia also curates live performances, like its second annual Best Playwrights' Festival, which showcases the work of young playwrights and screenwriters. Last year, only Writopia students could submit their work for consideration.

This year, the contest which is being sponsored by David Letterman's production company, World Wide Pants is open to all Big Apple writers in grades one through twelve. Eighteen finalists will be chosen, and six talented winners will see their scripts performed onstage by working actors at an-as-yet-to-be-determined Off Broadway theater on May 22 and 23. Any kind of "play" can qualify monologues, one acts, full-lengths, musicals and screenplays and hopefuls may enter multiple works. Entries can be e-mailed or sent via USPS, and must be received by April 5. Click here for details or call 212-222-4088. And if your aspiring author needs a little inspiration or feedback, bring him to the free Best Playwrights' Festival Open House (155 W 81 St between Columbus and Amsterdam Aves, suite A)on March 12 from 2 to 5pm, where he can have his work reviewed by pros or craft a brand-new piece in three hours. To secure your child's spot, e-mail Kathleen@writopialab.org. Break a leg or a pencil!


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