SPARC Announces New Voices Winners 2010

SPARC proudly announces the winners of the 21st annual competition for New Voices for the Theater, the nationally acclaimed statewide high school playwriting program that celebrates and cultivates young writing talent from across Virginia. 160 plays from around the state were submitted this year and eight resident winners are chosen.

The New Voices for the Theater playwriting competition provides an exciting opportunity for Virginia students to work closely with professional theater artists during a three-week residency. Students come to Richmond June 20 – July 4 and work to bring their original one-act plays to life on the stage. 

New Voices for the Theater 2010 winning resident playwrights:

  • A Walk in the Clouds – Michael Hill from Stonewall Jackson HS in Manasses
  • Olivia and Oliver– Jillian O’Hare from York County School of the Arts in Williamsburg
  • The Runaways – Peyton Spivey from Collegiate School in Richmond
  • So It Goes  – Kelsey Cappiello from Appomattox Regional Governor’s School in Petersburg
  • Stranded – David McKinney from York County School of the Arts in Williamsburg
  • Frozen – Amanda Halprin from Yorktown HS in Arlington
  • Hunt for the Rose – Monea Watson from Stonewall Jackson HS in Manasses
  • Hell Hath No Fury Like a Robot Scorned – Sara Katherine Rock from York County School of the Arts in Williamsburg

  Non-resident winners:

  • Demoliton Lovers – Samantha Oty from Christiansburg HS in Christiansburg
  • Plumbing Problems – Helen Mittmann from York County School of the Arts in Williamsburg
  • A Treasure Hunt to Remember – Allie Christy from York County School of the Arts in Williamsburg

Honorable mentions:

  • Awkward Girl – Tiffany Michelle Nunn form Stonewall Jackson HS is Manasses
  • Deficit – Jozem Majillo from Stonewall Jackson HS is Manasses

New Voices playwrights, 2009

 The young playwrights will get to work with this year’s New Voices Playwright-in-Residence, Marta Rainer, and other theater professionals and writers. During the residency program, students will participate in workshops and revise their winning scripts. The plays will be premiered as staged readings at the Festival of New Works, held July 2-3, 2010 at the SPARC black box theatre at 2106-A North Hamilton St. Richmond, VA 23230. The Festival is free to the public. (For information call (804) 353-2293 x 227 or

Marta Rainer – Playwright-in-Residence has performed her one-woman show Unaccustomed to My Name Off-Broadway, across America and internationally since 2001 – most recently at the 11th Annual International Black Sea Festival in Turkey, where she was honored to perform as the representative artist from the United States. A founding ensemble member of the NY Neo-Futurists – recent recipients of a New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Performance Art – Marta’s original works have been produced at the Kraine Theatre, HERE Arts Center, and the Cherry Lane Theatre (New York City), and Trinity Rep (Providence). Other favorite New York and regional roles include Woman (Laughing Wild), Carol (Oleanna), Sylvia (Sylvia), Trinculo (The Tempest), and Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Twelfth Night).  In Richmond she has been seen on stage as Ma Joad (Grapes of Wrath – Barksdale Theatre) well as Izzy(Rabbit Hole – Firehouse Theatre Project), for which she earned a Richmond Theatre Critics Circle award for Best Supporting Actress.  Creative collaborators include Second City founder Paul Sills (NY premieres of Yeats: The Stories of Red Hanrahan, Evening Clouds), Moscow Art Theatre director Viacheslav Dolgachev (The Seagull, Classic Stage Company), and indie filmmaker Andrew Silver – whose feature film Radio Cape Cod, penned by Marta, made its PBS broadcast debut on Valentine’s Day, 2009. Marta has taught acting/playwriting at New Actors Workshop, New York Film Academy, Richmond Shakespeare, and privately, and is a published non-fiction writer specializing in profiles. She is on the Theatre Studies faculty at her alma mater, Wellesley College, where she recently directed a full-length play co-developed and performed by students to explore and challenge the concept of diversity.  She is thrilled to be returning to such a laudable festival as New Voices for the Theatre this year, after a wild ride of workshop-giving and performing in 2009.  

“I look on my experience as a guest teacher and actor for the 2009 New Voices for the Theatre Festival as a paramount example of theatre’s potential to incite a celebration of creativity and community.  Virginia is truly fortunate to have such a long-running and innovative opportunity for its young writers; I applaud the families and teachers of Virginia – and of course all of the festival’s supporters at SPARC – for continuing to encourage its students to respond to their world and their imaginations by expressing themselves dramatically. I can’t wait to meet this year’s inventive, observant, and risk-taking winning playwrights!  From conversations I’ve had with many of Richmond’s theatre artists, I know I’m not alone  – I just feel honored that I get them all to myself for a wee bit to kick off the exciting roller coaster-like frenzy of rewrites, running around Richmond, rehearsals, and of course performance.  It’s going to be an intense ride for us all!  I’m looking forward to all of us strapping in, rolling up our sleeves, and getting down to work.”   -Marta Rainer

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