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TFA ANNOUNCES HIGH SCHOOL PLAYWRITING CONTEST

August 27, 2004
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S
THEATER OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT ANNOUNCES
MENTORING PROGRAM AND COMPETITION FOR
HIGH SCHOOL PLAYWRIGHTS
Winner receives a professional reading during
First Light Festival, TFA's annual festival of new plays,
Spring 2005


Fairfax, Virginia, August 26, 2004George Mason University’s Theater of the First Amendment (TFA) announces a unique mentoring program and competition for all Fairfax County high school playwrights. Selected applicants will work with a professional playwright, director or dramaturg on play development during the fall. At the end of the mentoring program, the students will submit their final plays to TFA’s First Light Festival Competition for High School Playwrights. The winning entry receives a professional five-day workshop and public reading at this year's First Light Festival on Saturday, March 19, 2005. Runners-up will have selected scenes read at this event. To apply, print the application form from the TFA website (www.gmu.edu/cfa/tfa) and mail it with a 2-page writing sample to: First Light Festival, Theater of the First Amendment, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 3E6, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. All application forms must be received no later than September 27, 2004.
Selected applicants will be notified by email and are required to attend an informational

session with local playwright Paul D'Andrea, who will speak on the topic of the playwright's craft. This talk will be held on Saturday, October 2 at 1:00 p.m. in George Mason University's Harris Theater. Afterwards, students will meet with professional artist mentors who will work with them from October through the final draft submission deadline of Friday, December 17. The mentoring program and subsequent competition are free to all Fairfax County high school students.

All students are encouraged to attend the First Light Festival, March 19 and 20, 2005 to support the winning high school play, hear readings of other works by professional playwrights, and the winner of the George Mason undergraduate playwriting competition. The First Light Festival is a production of Theater of the First Amendment, the professional theater in residence at George Mason's Center for the Arts. For more information, email kneshati@gmu.edu and include "First Light Festival" in the subject line.

Theater of the First Amendment
In celebration of truly free speech, TFA’s mission is to provide playwrights the resources to explore and create new work, and to provide audiences the opportunity to experience thought-provoking plays. Our motto is "We entertain ideas." TFA was founded in 1990 as the resident professional theater for George Mason University. To date, TFA has produced 40 plays (most of which have been world premieres) and 5 play festivals. The Helen Hayes Awards have nominated TFA’s work 36 times and have bestowed 12 awards on our work.

The Center for the Arts
George Mason University’s Center for the Arts is the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.