One month from now I’m having my debut as a real-world playwright.
God bless my college playwriting teacher, Gretchen Smith. Not only did she teach me everything I know about playwriting, she also helped me write a play that I was very proud of. Then she had our class write a playwriting calendar including monthly writing goals and monthly lists of theatres, festivals, and contests to submit our plays. It was the combination of my new found playwriting pride and the thorough calendar I had created that encouraged me to actually follow through despite how difficult it is to stick to deadlines that I have no immediate repercussions for missing.
Two months into my playwriting calendar I received quite an exciting e-mail:
The festival received over 120 entries. A panel of screeners narrowed submissions to 32 and after a second screening identified 8 finalists and 2 honorable mentions. My play, Devushka and the Cat, was selected as one of 8 plays to be staged and performed at the 8 in 48 festival for young audiences in Meridian, Idaho.
To follow-up this already exciting news, I was asked me to be the playwright in residence for the weekend of the festival! They’ve booked me a flight and are providing me with meals, housing, and the opportunity to watch my play go from words on a page to a story on a stage. How thrilling is this?!
So, what is this play that I wrote?
Devushka and the Cat is a 10-minute play for young audiences by Kaysy Ostrom that explores issues of endangered animals and our desire to capture beauty through the story of one girl’s love for an endangered cat. Devushka is fiercely smart and wildly adventurous. She is the star of her own folktale, which involves sneaking out at night and sketching a beautiful wild cat: the Amur Leopard. But when Devushka’s Papa finds the picture, he has other plans for how to capture the cat’s beauty.
After the festival I hope to write another blog about my experience as a playwright in residence at the festival! Until then, I’m trying to keep up with my playwriting calendar. I’m falling behind but it’s not something I’m giving up. I hope to continue writing plays for a long time.
Until next time!