The 2011 Montblanc Young Writers Project
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:
-The Warning by Diogenes Martinez featured a sister attempting to sabotage her sibling’s date when she realizes that she will be going out with her ex.
-Anuradha Golder wrote Domino, a play about two activists attempting to sway a friend for one of their causes.
-Dial ‘M’ for Crazy had two mental patients; one a grown woman who acts out like a 10 year old and another who fears the letter ‘M’, being counseled by a new therapist. Written by Maynor Alas.
-Audasia Glenn’s play about three sorority sisters attempting to escape from a cabin in the woods was titled Sadistic Sophistication.
-Three ‘criminals’ doing community service discuss their crimes and what they can do to improve their lives in Emmanuel Minaya’s Everybody’s Dirty Laundry.
-Stuck in the Middle With You placed two strangers with a mutual friends at odds with one another until they discover they have crossed paths before. By Clevins Browne.
-A Devil’s Contract brought a lovesick man to hell in order to retrieve his soul from the devil and her hype man. Written by Anthony Naranjo.
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 and last 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!