Following hot on the heels of its powerful 15-night-long Voices of Truth Theatre Festival, Powerstories Theatre is launching the Voices of Youth Theatre Festival on July 16-August 1, 2021, in its film-enhanced theatre.

With this youth-centric festival, Powerstories continues to honor its mission statement of “opening hearts and minds.” Being well-known in the community as a place for young people to find their voice, this inaugural festival will feature ten youth playwrights in the theatre or online and a virtual showcase of shorter original works.

Empowering children and teens is nothing new to the theatre celebrating its 21st birthday this year. In 2010, Powerstories received the prestigious National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award for its Girlstories Leadership Theatre program, presented to founder Fran Powers by Michelle Obama at the White House.

Powerstories is reaching out to talented 8 to 18-year-old artists of all original plays, scenes, monologues, spoken word, songs, and dance with original music, to be performed in the theater at 2105 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, and using the latest technology, live-streamed.

“Children are the jewel of Powerstories. Using a hybrid of in-house theater and online digital productions, The Voices of Youth Theatre Festival gives our young people an opportunity to have their say. They can share what’s on their minds with both a local and global audience,” said Fran. “Working with youth is probably the most impactful thing that Powerstories does because we are working with the next generation.”

For the two-week-long festival, guests have a choice of attending socially distanced productions of youth stories in the theater, following all CDC guidelines, or purchasing tickets to watch live streams from the comfort of their home.

“We’re excited to reopen our doors after a very long intermission by showcasing the works of our young people in the community.”

The 2021 festival artistic committee for the Voices of Youth Theatre Festival is accepting submissions for consideration now through May 15.  

Submission requirements are:

  • For play submission – the writer’s original story – Either a full production with a minimal set or a staged reading
  • For virtual showcase – shorter works of the writer’s original scene, monologue, spoken word, song, or dance with original music

There may be a maximum of six characters on stage if selecting to use the theater. There is no limit on the number of characters if producing digitally. Artists must agree to have their production live-streamed and not have performed the submitted piece three months before and after production.

All selections will be announced on the Powerstories Theatre Facebook page and website on May 30, 2021.

Registration for the Voices of Youth Theatre Festival is $10 per submission and scholarships are available. Complete details and registration form are online at Powerstories Theatre is proud to be sponsored by Hillsborough County Commissioners and Arts Council.