YPF WINNER ALUMNI
The Young Playwrights Festival is a unique opportunity to magnify the voices of our youth, and thus not only present their interpretations of the world but channel their vision into the public consciousness.
In the past few years, the decrease in arts funding at schools has made the arts even less accessible to children, and as made a career in the arts seem next to impossible for them. YPF works to restore this gap by providing students with the opportunity to be fully immersed in an artistic production, to have their unique voices heard on a national level, and to be introduced to the professional Theatre world.
Young Playwrights Festival brings a national audience to Los Angeles and builds the future of theatre at the same time. This program is not only a sustainable event for The Blank, it is also designed to sustain the art of Theatre for future generations.
Each year we inspire more and more young writers as evidenced by the growing number of submissions. One of the most important aspects of the Festival, and its most enduring feature, is the legacy it continues to create. The Festival plays a critical role in training and supporting the next generation of theatre artists:
Victor Kaufold, a YPF winner, tackled the issue of school shootings in The Why which was then produced on our Mainstage for which Victor earned an Ovation Award nomination for “Best Writing-World Premiere” at 19 years old.
Lauren Yee, a two-time YPF winner, is having her plays produced all across the country and was nominated for the prestigious John Gassner Award by the NY Outer Critics Circle.
Austin Winsberg, a five-time winner, recently had his musical First Date open on Broadway this season and adapted the highly-successful The Sound of Music Live! on NBC.
And most impressively, Stephen Karam, a three-time YPF winner, was a 2012 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for his play Sons of the Prophet. Karam later won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play for The Humans.
As a result of winning YPF, these exciting writers all made their professional stage debuts in Los Angeles. Along with 369 others over the years. Of all the work we do at The Blank, it is our nationwide Young Playwrights Festival that is creating the greatest long-term impact on the future of theatre.
The Blank Theatre’s Annual Young Playwrights Festival brings attention to Los Angeles as an important creator of new theatrical artists and work, gives young people a chance to have their unique voices heard in a professional setting, and gives audiences a glimpse into these young hearts and minds — as well as the thrill of seeing future Pulitzer Prize Finalists and Broadway librettists in their first professional productions.
Past Festivals have featured actors such as Chris Pine (STAR TREK), Katie Lowes (SCANDAL), Matthew Moy (2 BROKE GIRLS), Heather Morris and Max Adler (GLEE), Jeremy Sisto (LAW & ORDER, SIX FEET UNDER), Michael Welch (TWILIGHT), Brianna Brown (DEVIOUS MAIDS), Dee Wallace (ET: THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL), Dale Dickey (TRUE BLOOD, WINTER’S BONE), Noah Wyle (FALLING SKIES, ER), Nicholas Brendon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Marsters, Tom Lenk, Danny Strong and Eliza Dushku (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER), Tiffani Thiessen (WHITE COLLAR), Josh Radnor and Alyson Hannigan (HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER), Sarah Drew (GREY’S ANATOMY), Debra Messing (WILL & GRACE, SMASH), Angel Parker (LAB RATS), Parvesh Cheena (SEAN SAVES THE WORLD), Mark Valley (BOSTON LEGAL), Constance Zimmer (HOUSE OF CARDS), Jerry O’Connell (JERRY MAGUIRE), Ariel Winter (MODERN FAMILY), Kathryn Joosten and Todd Grinnell (DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES), Megan Ward (GENERAL HOSPITAL), plus over 1200 other professional mentors, directors, actors, producers and crew!
The Blank Theatre is committed to the enrichment of Hollywood’s cultural life through production of first-rate theatre, education of current and future artists, and creation of groundbreaking new works for the theatrical repertoire companies in America.