Winners of the VSA Playwright Discovery Award Program
2003 VSA Playwright Discovery Award Biographies
Diamond in the Rough by Allyson Hogan received a full production at the Kennedy Center's Theater Lab.
Set in a high school, Diamond in the Rough tells the story of Jeremy Black, a teenager with albinism. Teased by his peers who have nicknamed him "Diamond," he gains acceptance when they realize he is musically talented.
Allyson Hogan is a 16-year-old writer from Worthington, Minnesota. She has been writing since she was 7, and has had two poems published. She has also performed in three musicals at her school and loves to act. She was completing a research paper on albinism when she saw the Playwright Discovery Award poster at her school.
Get Ready to Walk and Roll! by Bethany Andrews and Amanda Harper received a staged reading at the Kennedy Center's Theater Lab.
The main character in Get Ready to Walk and Roll! is Haven, a high school senior with muscular dystrophy. Her warmth and sensitivity make her a "haven" to other students who come to her for advice. When she meets the new kid in town, Dominic, she realizes that not all disabilities are as obvious as hers.
The playwrights, Bethany Andrews and Amanda Harper, each 18 years old and from Arizona, consider themselves not only close friends, but also "writing buddies." This is Bethany's second completed play, her first one having been produced as the school play. Amanda has won several writing awards, including the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Award in 2001 for a personal essay entitled "If Only My Legs Worked."
Quota by Hannah Sternberg received an Honorable Mention
Quota brings us into the imaginary future, when individuals with disabilities are ostracized and forced to wear masks. Written creatively in verse, this play describes the relationship between a girl with a disability and her caretaker as they try to care for each other.
Hannah Sternberg, a 15-year-old from Rutland, Vermont, has written several short stories as well as three one-act plays. She also enjoys writing screenplays, and has an interest in film making and directing. A musician as well as a writer, she plays cello for her regional youth orchestra and has performed in the pit orchestra for several community theater productions.
2003 entries were reviewed by a distinguished Artists Selection Committee comprised of:
- Jack Hofsiss, Tony Award-winning director of The Elephant Man
- Fred Zollo, Tony Award-winning producer of Private Lives and film producer of Mississippi Burning and Quiz Show
- John Belluso, professional playwright; director of the Other Voices Project at the Mark Taper Forum, former recipient of the VSA arts Playwright Discovery Award for his play, Gretty Good Time