The 2011Montblanc Young Writers (from left) Clevins Browne, Audasia Glenn, Maynor Alas, winning playwright Anthony Naranjo, Anuradha Golder, Diogenes Martinez, and Emmanuel Minaya.
On October 23rd, seven former Urban Arts Partnership playwriting students came together in the spirit of friendly competition to participate in the 2011 Montblanc Young Writers Contest, the winner of which becomes the sixth writer for The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway on November 14th. The students met at the new Urban Arts office early Sunday morning and had a quick discussion and pep talk with acclaimed playwright Lucy Thurber, where she explained her career and inspirations, as well as what the writers will be faced with in the upcoming day.
Once the seven alumni settled in with the task of writing a 5-7 minute play in the next 6 hours, Academy playwriting teacher and working New York City playwright Zac Kline was on hand for mentoring and overseeing the new drafts coming through. After a long day of writing, deleting, revising and finalizing, seven new short plays were printed to paper.
Monday afternoon brought the writers, actors and directors together at The National Arts Club for a brief 2-hour rehearsal before the final reading. Lake Bell, Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rusuk of How To Make It In America lent their time and talent to read for two of the plays, and Michael Kenneth Williams of The Wire and Boardwalk Empire gave his talent to two others.
After all the impressive, hilarious and touching plays were read, the 12-person panel (which included Montblanc North America CEO Jan-Patrick Schmitz andlast years Young Writers Project winner Elizabeth Cruz Cortes) retreated for a difficult decision. After a tough vote, Anthony Naranjo and his play A Devil’s Contract were selected, and this November Anthony will be making his Broadway debut at the 10th Annual The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway. Congratulations!
The Montblanc Young Writers Program was an incredibly rewarding experience. I had the honor of writing for the cast of How to Make it in America which is one of my all-time favorite shows, which was a great opportunity unto itself. I feel privileged to write at such a young age for a Broadway stage but I also feel nervous because I will be writing alongside renowned playwrights. This is a huge step and I will rise to the occasion. – Anthony Naranjo