Congratulations, Playfest 2020-’21 Playwrights!

Aug. 1, 2020

Three local playwrights will have their original one-act dramas produced on the Spotlight stage in Spring 2021. These winners of SYT’s first Playfest competition are: Rebecca Bain, Emily Benoit, and Katie Kloberdanz. Congratulations to these talented creators!


The Winning Plays:

Spotlight Youth Theatre Playfest Competition Winner, Rebecca Bain
Rebecca Bain, writer of the winning script “Most Dead Summer Ever,” is congratulated by Kenny Grossman and Bobby Sample. Photo by Deb Czajkowski.

“Most Dead Summer Ever”
by Rebecca Bain

Alexa feels trapped at home when her family can’t go anywhere for the summer. (Sound familiar?) She contacts friends in faraway places, witnessing the fun they have without her. This doesn’t do much to help her through her loneliness, until she learns on her own how she is still not alone. 


Spotlight Youth Theatre Playfest 2020-2021, competition winner Emily Benoit
Emily Benoit, writer of the winning script “The Stains,” is congratulated by Kenny Grossman and Bobby Sample. Photo by Deb Czajkowski.

“The Stains”
By Emily Benoit

Penelope navigates her father’s funeral, with the separate persona of her Soul alongside her. Soul lets us in on the frustrations that Penelope can’t express out loud to those around her: about the shadowy mourners with their condolences, and solicitors who need to conduct the business of death. All the while, she has something to hide.


Spotlight Youth Theatre Playfest 2020-2021, competition winner Katie Kloberdanz
Katie Kloberdanz, writer of the winning script “Behind the Curtain,” is congratulated by Kenny Grossman and Bobby Sample. Photo by Deb Czajkowski.

“Behind the Curtain”
By Katie Kloberdanz

Henry is surrounded by the whole gamut of show folk: the star favorite, the artsy airhead, the hammy method actor, the nerdy director, the overbearing theatre mom… As a dancer nursing a broken leg during a school talent show, Henry finds more than enough time to discover his own murder mystery backstage!


About the Contest:

To fit the times, the theme of this Playfest is “Go the Distance.” The writers were challenged to create plays with situations that do not require close contact among the cast to perform together. Their works also feature casts of nine or fewer actors per play.

This makes their work “outbreak proof.” We assume we need to follow precautions in the spring as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Depending on conditions, measures for safety can range from live performance with physical distancing, to video streaming of the productions.

All entrants in the contest (which ended July 10, open to playwrights ages 16-22), receive a review from Spotlight writer/directors to highlight major strengths of their plays and areas to work on, just for participating. Winners receive a $100 prize (funded by a contest sponsor). They also give permission to Spotlight to workshop and perform their plays for one debut production.

The writers may choose to publish their works later, for which it helps to have prior productions. Other theatres and schools would be able to license them from the authors (or their publishers) when seeking works with the flexibility that these particular plays offer.