There’s a certain magic that happens when you give young people the opportunity to create. On July 29 through August 1, five talented playwrights, ages ranging from 10 to 18, will go from page to stage with the debut of Powerstories’ Voices of Youth Theatre Festival.
From the silly to the shocking, the hybrid lineup of short and full-length virtual performances from Florida, New York, Oklahoma, and the Philippines, and an in-theatre live play from a local Tampa playwright, 16-year-old Christi Golian, will delight audiences of all ages.
Like their adult counterparts, the show production relies on the playwrights. What audiences will see in July is solely from the imagination of the youth playwrights.
On Thursday, July 29, opening the festival, is ten-year-old Julia McComiskey’s virtual “Staged Delights and Frights” and the live-in-theatre production from Christi: “The Schemer and the Alien.”
On Friday, July 30, the audience will enjoy the virtual “Dear Pen Pal,” a musical written by eighteen-year-old Annie Brown. Dreamer’s Teatro Crew consisting of Olegario Pedro Lopez, age 16; Alexander Pedro Lopez, age 13; Nani Denning, age 13; Leilani Denning, age 13; and Israel Colón, age 15, penned “The Magic Pencil,” a group production shown online through Outcast Theatre Collective.
Saturday, July 31, brings an international virtual Zombie entry with an original song and short story by ten-year-old Zda Sumbillo called “Super Z.”
Emceed by youth poet Samantha Bollinger, winner of Powerstories 2020 ShineBright Talent Competition, the festival will culminate on that Saturday night with the Voices of Youth Talent Showcase. Youth singers, musicians, poets, spoken word artists, and comedians from across the globe – future stars of tomorrow – will take to a live virtual stage to entertain on Zoom for one exclusive night.
Young people interested in performing in the talent showcase can register on the website. Ten spaces are available.
On Sunday, August 1, playwrights and guests will join on Zoom for a virtual celebration, a talkback Q & A with the young playwrights, to close the inaugural festival.
Said Founder Fran Powers, “I can think of no better way to re-open our theatre than to amplify the voices of our young people.”
Powerstories Voices of Youth Theatre Festival is July 29 through August 1. The festival will be a combination of virtual performances and a live in-theatre play at 8 pm. Tickets are $10 per night (two performances). Detailed information and ticketing are available at https://www.powerstories.com/voices-of-youth-theatre-festival-schedule. To register for the talent showcase, visit https://forms.gle/KXRGAdYAUByY4fRdA.
ABOUT POWERSTORIES THEATRE Founded in 2000, the intimate 501(c)3 nonprofit professional theatre, Powerstories Theatre’s mission is staging true stories to open minds and hearts and inspire action worldwide. In the speaking and honoring of these true stories of great learning, performers and audiences alike receive a powerful gift – the validation that they are living a unique, valuable life. Powerstories vitally connects people with each other and helps inspire and motivate positive contributions to the world. Powerstories is proud to be sponsored by Hillsborough County Commissioners and Arts Council.