CHICAGO: The new-play initiative #ENOUGH has announced open submissions for its latest teen playwriting campaign, soliciting 10-minute plays about the scourge of gun violence after a year that ranks as one of the deadliest years on record for firearms-related fatalities, and just as many teens are returning to full-time in-person school for the first time since March 2020. The campaign aims to give teens a platform to explore the impact of this plague on their lives and communities in short dramatic from. Submissions for writers across the U.S. in grades 6-12 are open through Nov. 1. #ENOUGH is teaming with a growing coalition of theatres and educational partners with the hope to have play submissions and a series of simultaneous readings in all 50 states.
The organization’s community partners include parents of students who were victims of gun violence. They include Manuel Oliver, the co-founder of Change The Ref and the father of Joaquin “Guac” Oliver (a victim in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting), and Nicole Hockley, the co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and the mother of Dylan Hockley, a victim in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
“Gun violence is an epidemic,” said Oliver in a statement. “It’s beyond school shootings, beyond any single incident, and even beyond the loss of our own loved ones. My wife and I founded the nonprofit Change The Ref to empower future leaders and raise awareness about mass shootings. And that’s why I’m excited to support this next iteration of #ENOUGH.”
Plays will be judged by Oliver and playwrights Lydia R. Diamond, Naomi Iizuka, Rajiv Joseph, Mary Kathryn Nagle, and Don Zolidis. The judging committee will select 6-8 scripts to be published by Playscripts and produced nationwide in a series of simultaneous readings on April 20, 2022, the 23-year anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre. Winning playwrights will receive memberships and craft training from the Dramatists Guild of America. Each will receive a $500 stipend sponsored by Change The Ref.
In 2020’s first iteration of the campaign, seven plays were selected from 184 submissions and co-produced by collaborating regional theatres for Broadway on Demand. More than 1,100 artists participated in 50 readings across 26 states and across three continents, reaching more than 6,000 people.
Launched in 2019 by producer Michael Cotey, #ENOUGH has a mission to promote playwriting as a tool of self-expression and social change, harnessing this generation’s spirit of activism and providing a platform for America’s playwrights of tomorrow to discover and develop their voices today.
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