“Playwrights talk among themselves, and the Jackie White Competition is considered among the ten most significant in America for children’s theatre plays. It is well-respected as a venue which has encouraged the development and production of new works for young audiences, and I’m very proud to have won it.”
- Evan Guilford Blake, 2006 Jackie White Memorial Play Writing Winner
"The Jackie White Competition has become an important part of my development as a writer. More important than the result was the feedback I received from the panel of readers. Plays are always read by multiple readers, so one reader's opinion is never the deciding factor. I can always count on an honest evaluation of my work from the CEC panel. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had with the Jackie White Competition and hope to enter again in the future."
-Stephen Murray, various finishes
2006 JACKIE WHITE MEMORIAL
PLAY WRITING CONTEST WINNERS
FIRST PLACE: TELLING WILLIAM TELL
by Evan Guilford-Blake, Stone Mountain, GA
A play with music, Telling William Tell depicts the creation of Rossini’s opera about the mythical Swiss folk hero. The script, which draws parallels between Rossini’s quest for artistic freedom and the Swiss citizens’ quest for political freedom from the despotic Austrians, interweaves the two stories with an emphasis on the role of children in each story. Although plagued by the producer of the Paris Opera to finish a highly commercial opera, Rossini chooses instead to write his version of the William Tell story. In order to convince the producer, Georges Meister, of the worth of his tale, Rossini (doubling as William Tell) acts out the story of his opera for the producer. This creative script will delight audiences of all ages.
In addition since placing first in the Jackie White Memorial Play Writing Contest Telling Willam Tell has won the 2006 Aurand Harris Playwriting Competition Award sponsored by the New England Theatre Conference.
SECOND PLACE: ABBY’S LIGHT
Music by Stephen Murray, Framingham, MA and Book by Spring Hermann, West Hartford, CT
Abby’s Light describes the founding of the first school for the blind, created in 1832 in Boston by Dr. Samuel.Howe with help from his friend and school trustee Horace Mann. When the school needs to move from Dr. Howe’s parents’ home to a building of its own, Dr. Howe and Horace Mann arrange for the students to perform an “examination” for the state legislature. Funding, although awarded, is not immediately available. To raise money, the children prepare a public presentation to demonstrate that the blind can be taught to read and to perform useful skills. As a result all of Boston is inspired to put on a grand May Fair, which raises the money needed to continue funding the school.
THIRD PLACE: BY CANDLELIGHT
by Claudia Haas, White Bear Lake, MN
In the aftermath of 9/11, young people from around the country came together via the internet to help each other cope and heal. Chat lines dedicated to young people's thoughts on 9/11 showed that these children wanted to reach out in a meaningful way, but felt at a loss to do so. Through the course of By Candlelight, these youngsters do find ways of thanking their new heroes - those who save lives by risking their own. Framing the play is a story of a friendship from the past between a young Catholic girl and a young Jewish girl. These young girls forge a bond of friendship and create a candlelight service devoted to tolerance and understanding. This special pledge will echo through to the next generation. The stories and characters are based on true accounts. The friendship is true as are the ways these young people coped and helped each other. Claudia Haas was privileged to work with and interview young people from around the country to create this poignant play. .
HONORABLE MENTION:Betsy's Flag
by Walt Vail, Pitman, NJ
HONORABLE MENTION: What Would Picasso Say?
by Dorene E. Fisher, Staunton, VA