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Jan6
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Theatre & Performing Arts

The 37th Annual Young Playwrights Festival


Pegasus Theatre Chicago is proud to announce the authors and plays being presented at the 37th Annual Young Playwrights Festival, January 4 – 28, 2024 at Chicago Dramatists, 798 N. Aberdeen. Previews are Thursday, Jan. 4 – Saturday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. with theOpening Ceremony, Sunday, Jan. 7 at 2:30 p.m. The performance schedule is Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $15 – $30 are on sale now at PegasusTheatreChicago.org. Educators may schedule school group matinees via ypf@pegasustheatrechicago.org.  

For 37 years, the Young Playwrights Festival, the oldest such festival in the United States, has engaged and inspired high school students across Chicago by teaching them to craft one-act plays. Under the auspices of Pegasus Theatre Chicago, the winning teen playwrights’ productions are work-shopped and staged by industry professionals. The competition typically receives more than 300 submissions annually.  

“It’s important that audiences start the year celebrating the work of these young playwrights,” said Executive and Producing Artistic Director ILesa Duncan.”The work from all over Chicago, represents the talent of these teens and offers an artistic outlet for them to mine their world for inspiration while exploring potential careers. We look forward to sharing these four new works.”

The 37th Young Playwrights Festival includes:

Splashes of Paint  by Amanda Heckler 

(Taft High School, Teacher: Adrienne Carmona)

Director: Reshmi Hazra Rustebakke 

During the Renaissance period, a young woman is forced to hide her visual art painting which jeopardizes her happiness.

You’re Like, Dead  by Ella Johnson 

(Whitney Young Magnet High School, Teacher: Elizabeth Danesh)

Director: ILesa Duncan 

Richard accidentally dies and befriends Death in the afterlife as they both grapple with their loneliness.

Can’t Sleep by Alexander Loaiza 

(Thomas Kelly High School, Teacher: Chani Buchic)

Director: Enrico Spada

In order to stave off the grief of his dog dying James pretends he’s in a happy kids television show.  Can he acknowledge his childhood traumas and awake from his dream?

Listen by Grant Parris 

(Whitney Young Magnet High School, Teacher: Elizabeth Danesh)

Director: ILesa Duncan  

Two friends George and Zach find themselves in a time loop that ends in tragedy. Can they stop the devastating chain reaction from repeating?


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