The next generation of Mamets

Young Dramatists' Project 2007

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click to enlarge Andrew Ford (clockwise from the top), Petar Yanev, Gabriel Neustadt, Erin Lightning, Aubrey Hampton and Victoria Tuzzolino - Jeff Young Photography
Jeff Young Photography
Andrew Ford (clockwise from the top), Petar Yanev, Gabriel Neustadt, Erin Lightning, Aubrey Hampton and Victoria Tuzzolino

For the past seven years, Gorilla Theatre has provided an outlet for aspiring young Bay area playwrights to stage full-scale, professional productions of their works by way of an annual playwrighting competition: the Young Dramatists' Project.

Potential middle- and high-school-aged participants submit one-act plays (no longer than 20 pages) that are read and narrowed down to the best five by Gorilla Theatre co-founders Aubrey Hampton and Susan Hussey. Winners receive mentoring by local dramaturge Jim Rayfield in preparation for their debut production, as well as a $250 royalty, paid membership into the Dramatists Guild and a professional, 10-show production.

The five winning scripts of YDP '07 are debuted this weekend and include Andrew Ford's Descension, a satire of Washington's partisan bickering; Erin Lightning's One Voice, which weaves together three stories about the human need to communicate; Gabriel Neustadt's Strand in the Closet, about an unusual meeting between brothers; Victoria Tuzzolino's Happy Even After, about a love that lasts beyond the grave; and Petar G. Yanev's There it is, the Sea, about a cross-generational, cross-cultural "meeting of minds" in a Bulgarian tourist town. This production marks the official close of the Gorilla Theatre's 2006-2007 season.

Young Dramatists' Project 2007, 7 p.m. Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., May 3-13, Gorilla Theatre, 4419 N. Hubert Ave., Tampa, $15 adults/$10 seniors and students/$5 high school and middle school students, 813-879-2914, gorillatheatre.com.

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