Page to Stage for Young Playwrights; Shakespeare Resources; “Charisma” Giveaway

Keep these resources for Shakespeare units handy, and perhaps inspire the next generation of fantastic playwrights. If your YA collection is lacking Charisma, take a chance on winning a free copy.
Colorado Playwriting Workshop and Competition DCPA logoThree Colorado teens were given top honors in the second annual Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) Regional High School Playwriting Workshop and Competition. Finalists will each receive a professional staged reading at the Colorado New Play Summit on February 21. This one-act play playwriting competition was designed for Colorado high school students to nurture young writers, develop new plays, and inspire creativity through playwriting. In the fall, the DCPA offered free playwriting workshops to high schools across Colorado to introduce students to the fundamentals of writing a one-act play. Over 140 workshops were taught to theatre and language arts classrooms in 14 counties this year. The competition received 158 submissions and 10 semifinalists were selected. Submissions were judged blindly by artistic, literary, and educational professionals. The top three finalists receive a $250 prize and complimentary passes to the Summit weekend. One play will be selected for full production in the summer by the DCPA Education department. In addition, each finalist’s theatre or language arts teacher receives a $250 gift certificate for books, supplies, or other teaching tools for their classrooms. Top Three Competition Finalists Election by Catherine Novotny, Grandview High School Lark’s Mechanics by Kaytlin Camp, Gunnison High School The Tale of the Almighty Sword by Jack Hansen, Arapahoe High School Shakespearean Resources EH_1_30_14_ShakespeareAsk any person over the age of 12 to name one poet or playwright, and the most common answer would likely be “William Shakespeare,” followed by a rendition of “To be, or not to be; that is the question.” If there is one thing youth librarians and teachers—we few, we happy few, we band of brothers—can count on while serving children and teens, it is that we will be regularly tasked with finding Shakespearean resources. Nearly 400 years after his death, the Elizabethan playwright remains at the core of literary study in many of the world’s educational systems—as evidenced by the sheer number of resources, books, academic papers, websites, and research centers dedicated to studying and disseminating his work. Librarians Stacy Dillon and Amy Laughlin have assembled a fantastic list of websites, apps, and print resources that are guaranteed to liven up any classroom or library unit on the great bard—check it out at Mix It Up! One Shot at a New Life Jeanne Ryan's Charisma (Dial; March 2015, ages 12 Up) is a high-stakes thriller with big questions about ethics and nature versus nurture. CHARISMA coverAislyn suffers from crippling shyness—that is, until she is offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. She’s charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the disease turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must find a way to stop it, before it’s too late. Booklist says "This Robin Cook-like thriller zips along at breakneck speed to a satisfying conclusion," Kirkus calls it "A provocative and entertaining read," and SLJ notes it “gives teens much to think about regarding medical ethics and experimentation.” Five lucky winners will win a copy of Charisma. To enter, send an email with your name, shipping address, and email address. Email entries must be received by midnight (PDT) on February 27, 2015. Winners will be selected in a random drawing and notified via email. One entry per person, please; prizes will only be shipped to U.S. addresses.

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