Press Room

For Press Inquiries, please call 703-993-8794.

TFA announces annual Playwriting Contest

September 1, 2006
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

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 seventh annual festival of new plays, Spring 2007


Fairfax, Virginia, August 22, 2006—George Mason University’s professional theater in residence, Theater of the First Amendment (TFA), announces the return of a unique mentoring program and competition for all Fairfax County high school playwrights. Selected applicants have the opportunity to work with a professional playwright, director or dramaturg on play development during the fall. At the end of the mentoring period, the students submit their final plays to TFA’s First Light FestivalCompetition for High School Playwrights. The winning entry receives a professional five-day workshop and public reading at the Seventh Annual First Light Festival on Saturday, March 17, 2007. 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 applications must be received no later than October 2, 2006.

Once selected applicants are notified by email, they are required to attend an informational session – led by local professional playwright Gwydion Suilebhan—discussing the aspects of writing drama on Sunday, October 15 at 1:00 p.m. in TheaterSpace, on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University. Students will then meet with professional artist mentors to assist in the creative process from October through the final draft submission deadline of Friday, December 15. This unparalleled 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 17 and 18, 2007 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 about the competition, see the TFA website at http://www.gmu.edu/cfa/tfa/firstlight.html. Entrants may also email Suzanne Maloney (smaloney@gmu.edu) or Kristin Johnsen-Neshati (kneshati@gmu.edu) with questions. Please include "First Light Festival" in the subject line.

# # #

THEATER OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT
George Mason University's Professional Theater Company
Rick Davis, artistic director
In celebration of truly free speech, we provide playwrights the resources to explore and create new work. We provide audiences the opportunity to experience thought-provoking plays.
We entertain ideas.
Theater of the First Amendment (TFA), George Mason University’s professional equity theater company, is a part of GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON. TFA focuses on new works, rediscovered classics and family productions. TFA draws on a large and varied pool of talent, primarily from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area – one of America’s most vibrant theater communities. Whenever possible and suitable, the Mason student talent pool is tapped to fill positions, providing students invaluable on-the-job professional training. Students, who compete at open auditions, may also perform age-appropriate roles. The continuity of long-standing relationships with area actors, directors and designers, as well as the ever-changing variety of fresh faces in the George Mason student population comprise an artistic body that is both vital and enduring.
The company has received 12 prestigious Helen Hayes Awards and more than 36 nominations. In its continuing commitment to enriching the academic experience at Mason, TFA participates enthusiastically in the "free tickets for Mason students" program. Whether attending performances as a course requirement, or for the personal desire to view exceptional live drama, the interaction between students and the members of TFA’s active subscriber base creates a diverse audience enhancing this unique theatrical experience.


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.