WiseWrite Performance, 2018

The Rep announces WiseWrite Digital Play Festival, opens call for new plays written by students

Tuesday | Apr. 28, 2020

Budding young writers throughout the nation are invited to develop and submit plays to The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis for inclusion in its all-new WiseWrite Digital Play Festival.

Open to all students grades 4 through 12, this online celebration of storytelling will culminate in June when professional actors perform selected student submissions over Zoom.

To help students develop the skills to write their first plays, The Rep will release a six-part online learning curriculum – one part each week through the end of May – at repstl.org/wisewrite. These digital lessons will introduce students to basic story structure, developing characters and writing dialogue. At the end of the curriculum, students can submit their plays to The Rep for festival consideration.

“Imagine being a child and having the first play you ever wrote performed by professional actors,” said Marsha Coplon, The Rep’s Director of Education. “It’s a fantastic and meaningful opportunity that we’re happy to provide. We want this festival to both teach and inspire students through the art of telling great stories.”

The festival takes its name from WiseWrite, a longstanding collaboration between The Rep and Springboard to Learning. Every year, The Rep and Springboard work with students at two local elementary schools throughout the entire academic year, teaching the same fundamentals of playwriting that will be made available online for the festival. The program usually concludes with an April performance of students’ works at The Rep.

“We had to change our plans this year, but we’re tremendously excited to expand WiseWrite to include students from anywhere in the country,” Coplon said. “We hope that this project can provide an engaging, creative challenge for students who are sheltering in place with their families."

Students can get started today at repstl.org/wisewrite. The Rep will announce an official festival date soon, along with participating performers.

The Rep’s educational programs introduce theatre to young people throughout Missouri and Illinois, reaching 35,000 students every year. That includes student matinees of Mainstage productions, performances from The Rep’s touring Imaginary Theatre Company, backstage tours, classroom lessons and more.