Mosaic Theater Company announces and celebrates the talented winners of its inaugural Playwriting Contest for high school students. Each winning play will receive a reading by professional actors as directed by professional directors during a live event Friday, February 26, 2021, at 7:00 PM EST, hosted by Michael Quander Jr. of WUSA9. A Q&A with local celebrity judges and the winning high school playwrights will directly follow the performance. Free tickets are available here.
“The Playwriting Contest is a natural extension of Mosaic’s legacy as a hub of new play development, with more than half of its first six seasons of programming falling under the umbrella of world, national, or regional premieres. Mosaic is excited to engage with these talented, emerging artists in this new way,” said Angelisa Gillyard, director of outreach and engagement.
“There were submissions from high schools in Washington, DC, and Prince George’s County, MD. The imagination displayed by these young writers, whose submissions were varied in subject and genre, is truly remarkable. Mosaic is pleased to champion these writers and to share their work aloud with our community.”
Cash prizes will be awarded in two categories: plays that are up to 10 minutes in length and plays that are 10 to 20 minutes in length. First place in each category receives $300; second place, $200; and third place, $100. Following are the seven winners’ artistic statements and bios.
Category: 10 Minutes or Less
1st Place: Words Between Claps of Thunder
by Nichole Mitchell (they/their)
I am a playwright, director, performer, and makeup artist. My plays are typically known to be fictional, creative, and laid-back. I write because I want people to feel emotions such as happiness or a breath of relief. Maybe even a chuckle or two.
I’m Nichole, but I prefer to be called Nic. I use they/them pronouns. I am 17-year-old and a junior at Charles Herbert Flowers High School, the “Mecca of Excellence.” I like to do makeup, write plays, read, and socialize! I am a part of the Jaguar Players and the Drama Club at my school. I plan to be a playwright when I graduate college and pursue having a small business as a makeup artist.
IG: @1800idekbro Twitter: @chole_unicorn
2nd Place: Gun to the Body
by Corinne Hess (she/her)
I am a playwright, writer, and musician. With this being said, I don’t always describe myself as a “creative” person. My work is often described as an intricate story which weaves its way through multiple themes that is also well organized. I write because I want the audience to feel tricked by my work.
My name is Corinne Hess! I’m a 10th grader at Capital City Public Charter School. I enjoy writing, directing, and stage-managing theater productions. I love music and play the oboe in the DC Youth Orchestra Program. I spend my weekends biking and working at a bike shop whenever I can. I like to tinker around with and sell bikes. In my Quaker community, I manage the social media platforms and website to engage with my community. I strive to work a job that combines my organizational skills with my passion for solving intricate math and logic problems. IG: @corinnenhess
3rd Place: Don’t Move
by Alexsia Tarquinii (she/her)
I want to be an actress, a director, a singer, and a writer. My plays should make you feel thrown off guard and eager to see what happens next. I mostly work on making plot twists so that the endings of my plays are never cliche. My work is touching and honest and scary and beautiful and perfect and strong and entertaining and organized and realistic and not expected. I write because I want people to feel thrown off guard and mad but in an entertaining way, because all of my pieces have a twist that will make people feel off edge. When you see my play, you will be balancing on the seat of your chair. Just remember don’t move.
My name is Alexia Tarquinii and I am a sophomore. I’m mixed with Black and Italian and I’m an A/B student. Growing up I always wanted to be a doctor but, as I got older, I discovered my true passion: acting. When I graduate, I want to move to NYC or LA to pursue my acting career. My dream is to become an actress and I’m already working very hard and doing auditions back to back. I used to be on the debate, soccer, and cheer teams, in drama club, as well as taking improv classes. I also train with the IPOP talent agency. I’m also in the new show Sacher.tv, which will be on YouTube and streamed on the Sacher.tv website; Tsar and Tsarista, which will be streamed on Apple and Spotify and all other podcasting apps; and The Adventures of Flare, which will be released later in 2021. I move around a lot since my mom is in the military so I’ve always had to make new friends which is why I’m an extrovert. Acting is my happy place. It makes me feel alive and really brings me joy. IG: @alexsiatarquinii
Category: 10 to 20 Minutes
1st Place: Always My Closest Friend
by Anthony McDonald (he/him)
I am a dancer, actor, singer, painter, photographer, director, and playwright. In my crafts, I make sure the finished product always conveys a unique, passionate, strong, powerful, touching, and detailed message. I not only want my audience to laugh, sob, and smile at my work, but to also take a self-reflection and reevaluate on the many layers, details, and moments of it afterwards and how they can relate to that in THEIR life.
I am Anthony McDonald Jr., I am in the 12th grade, and I currently attend Charles Herbert Flowers High School. I participate in many clubs at my school including the illustrious Drama Club (GO JAGS!) and The Lift, which is a club that assists and reaches out to those in need. I was previously a member of Honors Band and National Honor Society, and have won several principal’s list and academic achievement awards due to my 4.3 GPA. In the future, I plan to major in Theater/Performing Arts and minor in Business and Entrepreneurship! IG: @lmaoxantonio Twitter: @lmaoxantonio
2nd Place (tie): The X’s and O’s
by Mikayla Clark (she/her)
I am a writer and director. I create work that is receptive and moving. I like writing about my standpoint on societal issues and things I deal with personally as a Black young lady. When people read my work, I like when I leave them stuck in their seats. I write so my audience can feel conscious and apprehensive of not only themselves but society as a whole.
My name is Mikayla Clark. I am a junior at Charles Herbert Flowers High School. I am a member of the Jaguar Players Drama Club at my high school. I am one of the writers of 2021’s play #WeStandAsOne. I write and perform spoken word at events and churches. I was also the director and club leader at an elementary school in Capitol Heights called Carmody Hills Elementary. IG: @mux.kayluh
2nd Place (tie): Don’t Call It Justice
by Sab’Vea Edwards (she/her)
I am a dancer, singer, writer, choreographer, and aspiring director. Through my writings I provide funny and feel-good situations, socially confrontational topics, dramatic moments, and an overload of emotions. Through my dance I use my body to express the feelings I can’t say. I tell a story with my movements and the music that I move to. Ideally after reading a writing or watching a dance of mine the audience will understand and see the pain, joy, and commitment displayed. They show the audience the different struggles different groups go through. It brings the people together and gives them the strength, understanding, and push to make a change.
My name is Sab’Vea Arijah Edwards and I’m in the 10th grade. Aside from writing I love to dance, design, read, listen, and watch movies and Broadway shows. I’ve been dancing since I was four and like writing because it gives me a place to escape to and a way to express my feelings. To me, reading books and watching movies are like opening doorways to new worlds that you can live in and explore. I’ve been on the honor roll since kindergarten. I like playing basketball and I’ve taken a new interest in my school’s lacrosse team. Designing is a nonverbal way for me to express my interest. I love watching old, scary, romantic, or action-filled movies. My favorite type of music is old school. It’s so expressive and upbeat and it always gets me in a good mood. Finding different ways to express myself has always ended up in new hobbies and passions for me.
3rd Place: Dice
by Masai Wray (he/him)
I’m a comedian, writer, and actor based here in the DMV. I strive to put gravity into my work, the kind that pulls you in, and the kind that keeps your feet on the ground. I want to tell stories from marginalized groups, the stories that happen everyday that people don’t realize. I want my audience to feel the world around them change when they see my work. I want them to look at things from different sides, and try to experience life from a new angle.
I’m a junior at CMIT High School. I’m a huge fan of all things comedy, from Chapelle’s stand-up to the absurdly-real world of Donald Glover’s Atlanta. I’m a Jack-of-all-trades when it comes to sports, ranging from baseball to soccer as well as fencing and cricket. I love all types of music (except Country of course), so if you have a recommendation, send it my way! You can find me on instagram(@raystaylosin) and twitter (@fridaysisland).