If you’re a playwright then you’re familiar with the Thespy® Playwriting competition under its former name: Thespian Playworks. The winning plays, up to four are selected each year, are then developed at the International Thespian Festival (ITF).

You still have time to register and audition to be part of the Thespy® Playwriting staged readings at ITF 2021. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the landing page to learn the names of the 2021 winning plays and how to submit your audition by June 1.
If you’re not familiar with the playwriting competition, here’s how it works. The competition nurtures original student-written plays from the written page to stage production. An adjudication team chooses the winning plays. Professional directors and dramaturgs will help the winners workshop and present their plays with student actors at ITF. The playwriting competition is sponsored by Concord Theatricals.

Aiko Lozar, Troupe 1519, Carlsbad (California) High School, was a winner of the 2020 playwriting competition with Love is Blind: A Spoken Word Poetry Play. We caught up with Aiko recently, and her story will inspire to you to keep writing!

What doors opened after you won the playwriting competition?

My winning play, Love is Blind: A Spoken-Word Play, was professionally reviewed and produced on the digital stage at the 2020 International Thespian Festival. Additionally, as part of the prize for winning, Concord Theatricals will soon publish Love is Blind!

The entire experience after winning has helped me grow as a writer. And the best advice I’ve gotten yet has been to pursue something that I can spend hours doing, and then feel like no time has passed.

Playwriting competition Aiko Lozar Falling Star

What project have you been working on?

As Senior President of Student Production Club at Carlsbad High School, I helped organize and write Falling Star: A New Musical. I helped write scenes and lyrics. I also worked closely with musicians and other writers. In all, I aided in the creation of the script from start to finish.

In terms of the actual production of the musical, I’ve been working behind the scenes. I’ve assembled props, done general organization, handled publicity/PR, and done video editing on the final product. Our biggest challenge was doing everything virtually. We had frequent video-call check-ins to alleviate frustrations and stay on track.

The greatest reward of working on the project was seeing the final product! It’s so cool to have been part of this musical from start to finish.

What advice do you have for playwrights?

Read! And! Write! Whenever and wherever, even if you feel like it’s bad. I’m a huge believer in learning by doing. Also, don’t be afraid of feedback. People want to help you make your work better.

What are your near-future plans?

I’ll be attending Chapman University on a half-ride scholarship, majoring in film production. Falling Star is my last production at Carlsbad High School. I’m so grateful to the CHS Theatre Department and the students who’ve believed in the Student Production Club mission from the beginning.

Patty Craft is Content Manager for Dramatics.org. She lives and writes on 10 acres in southwestern Ohio where she also hikes to her heart’s content. If you have a story idea, share it with us here.

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