A few weeks ago a new play, The Essay, debuted in East Vancouver to a crowd of about 300. Nothing unusual there for Vancouver. But there is a catch; Olivia Rempel, the writer of the play, is only 16 years old.
Olivia won the Junior Category of the Act NOW! National Play Writing Competition. It was a nationwide contest for young people to submit scripts themed around sustainability. Her script beat out other submissions from youths aged 12-16. The play first premiered at Charles Dickens Elementary School by Jai Ho!, a youth theatre troupe directed by grade 12 student Trisha Dulku, and was well received by the audience.
Olivia wasn’t the only winner. Mitchell Agostinho was the winner of the senior category (from ages 17-19).
Over 10,000 people will see the plays between June 2009 and October 2010 as they are performed at schools and festivals across Canada. Talk about a great start to a writing career.
NOW! is now accepting submissions for next years contest. The categories have changed slightly to include university level students. The Junior category is now 14-18 and the Senior category is 19-26. Get on it Terry keeners!
Run entirely by youth volunteers, the Vancouver-based NOW! Organization is dedicated to running grassroots campaigns not only to raise awareness, but also to engage and empower youth, facilitate discussions, pique new ideas and new solutions, promote interdisciplinary thinking, and initiate action. For more information about NOW! and to submit your script check here.