Our student spotlight for July 2019 is playwright Clara Collins, a rising junior at Charleston School of the Arts.
"Recently I was awarded the amazing opportunity to go to LA and see my play 'Interlude' produced by The Blank Theatre as part of its Young Playwrights Festival. Twelve plays were produced over the month of June, and my play, along with two others, had four showings during the last weekend of the festival.
"My play runs about 20 minutes and is set in a 1950s asylum in California where two women, a housewife and an actress, are committed against their will. Over the course of the play, they challenge each other's perceptions and share secrets and strength.
"My goal in writing it was to allow women to tell their own stories and to highlight issues that have been present for decades as they find new light, and I'm pleased to say that with the help of everyone involved, I reached it!
"One of the coolest parts of the experience was attending rehearsals and seeing my play transform into the final product. My crew was all female, from my director to my stage managers, mentor, and actors. This is something so rare in show business, but it shouldn't be! All of the fantastic ladies involved knew exactly what I wanted to achieve and made it happen.
"I was assigned my mentor, Kit Steinkellner, soon after I was informed of my selection, and over the next few weeks we exchanged phone calls and emails going over edits and revisions. (Look Kit up! She's so cool!) She gave incredible advice and pushed me to make big, and much necessary, changes that I would never have made on my own. Editing was hard work; I spent hours working, but I can honestly say how proud I am of my final product.
"I flew into LA a week before my play premiered in order to attend the last few rehearsals. My director, Laura Stribling, and my actors, Elisabeth Harnois and AnnaLynne McCord, were welcoming and wildly talented. In fact, I came in late to the first rehearsal and thought they were improvising!
"I went to each of the four shows and though I did start to get sick of my own words, each performance was so fun. I also got to meet the other two talented young playwrights.
"As someone who wants to pursue a career in dramatic writing, this was such an awesome way to learn about the theatre and what it takes to write for it."
Scroll down a few pictures from the event!