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.