Powerstories Theatre seeks kids, teens for inaugural Voices of Youth Theatre Festival

Do you know any kids or teens that have a passion for theatre? Perhaps someone who stays up late making their own plays? Powerstories Theatre is looking for them to participate in their inaugural Voices of Youth Theatre Festival, which will kick off later this summer.
 
“Young people have always been a huge part of what Powerstories is. We’re hoping a lot of creativity came out of social isolation and Fran Powers [Founder of Powerstories Theatre] is excited because we can share what’s on their minds,” says Deb Kelley, head of Marketing and PR for Powerstories Theatre. “We have high-quality live-stream equipment so we can stream these performances throughout the entire world. We just finished our Voices of Truth Theatre Festival, and we didn’t think about our community being in Japan or England. We were able to reach around the world which was so exciting.”
 
The open call is for youth playwrights that have written their own original plays and are between the ages of 8 and 18, as well as performers in the same age bracket with their own original scenes, monologues, spoken word segments, song, dance, or anything else you can possibly think of like magic acts or contortion. The festival will be in two parts: in-person theatre for the plays, which will mostly focus on local students in the Tampa Bay area, while the other smaller performances will be live-streamed (meaning that they can be from non-local youths).
 
“We’re looking for completely original stories that have a beginning, middle, and end. We’re looking for honesty, for something that you read and just go, ‘Wow!’ Something impactful, something that makes you laugh, or something that just makes you feel,” Kelley says. “We will be accepting submissions from all levels of experience. We understand that an 8-year-old and an 18-year-old are going to be writing different plays, but we still want the 8-year-old to be showing work alongside that 18-year-old.”
 
Submissions are open only through May 15, so anyone who is interested should act fast. After culling 10 performances from the submissions, the Voices of Youth Theatre Festival will debut July 16-Aug. 1.
 
“We need to give young people a voice because they have gone through so much from having been in school to now having Zoom classes and virtual graduations,’’ Kelley says. “Having their life go completely into chaos, I’m sure there’s a story in there about their frustrations. We want to start those important conversations, and those kids are the ones making those conversations happen.”

The open call is for youth playwrights who have written their own original plays, as well as young performers with their own original scenes, monologues, spoken word segments, song, dance, or anything else you can possibly think of like magic acts or contortion. The festival will be in two parts: in-person theatre for the plays, which will mostly focus on local students in the Tampa Bay Area, while the other smaller performances will be live-streamed (meaning that they can be from non-local youths).
 
All topics are welcome. The entry fee is $10, but they have scholarships to waive fee. Teachers can submit student's work on their behalf. 
 
To find out more about the festival and submission rules, visit the Powerstories Theatre website.
 

Read more articles by Caitlin Albritton.

Caitlin Albritton is a freelance writer based in Tampa with a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design and a MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. When she's not looking at art throughout town, she can be found making it. You can keep up with her visual art on Instagram @caitlinalbritton or on her website. Visit her recent line of inlay “wearable paintings.”
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