Ensemble Theatre Company has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support The Young Playwrights’ Festival, which introduces middle- and high-school students to playwriting.
The project is among the more than 1,100 projects across America, totaling nearly $27 million, that were selected.
“This is a great honor for us,” said Jonathan Fox, ETC’s artistic director. “We are proud to be a new recipient of an NEA grant.”
“The development of storytellers for the future of the American theater may be one of the most valuable educational programs that the ETC can offer the Santa Barbara community,” said Brian McDonald, education director. “Thanks to the generous support from the NEA, we are able to offer this unique dramatic writing program free to all participating students and provide a supportive team of nearly 30 theater professionals.”
The YPF is a 16-week program that nurtures up to 20 young writers, ages 13 through 19, in the craft of playwriting. The only such youth-focused, sustained playwriting program in the region, YPF is taught by theater artists and mentored by professional playwrights and theater directors.
Through weekly teaching and coaching sessions over five months, each YPF participant develops an original 10-minute play that is produced and staged with professional actors for virtual or in-person public audiences.
This year’s festival of new 10-minute plays will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at The New Vic, 33 W. Victoria St., for a limited invited audience and viewable online via YouTube LIVE.
Access to the event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit etcsb.org/education-and-outreach/young-playwrights-festival.
“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as Ensemble Theatre Company re-engage fully with partners and audiences,” said Ann Eilers, NEA acting chair. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”