Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or cdevlin6@gmu.edu

THEATER OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT FIRST LIGHT MENTOR PROGRAM & COMPETITION FOR HIGH SCHOOL PLAYWRIGHTS

October 7, 2008
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

2009 Mason Summer Festival First Light

TFA’s Eighth annual festival of new plays, Spring 2009

FAIRFAX, Va., Oct. 7, 2008 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 and winter. At the end of the mentoring period, the students submit their final plays to TFA’s First Light Competition for High School Playwrights. The winning entry receives a professional five-day workshop and public reading at the Eighth Annual First Light Moment of Discovery Program on Saturday, June 6, 2009. To apply, students should send their name, address, phone number, high school and name of English or Drama teacher along with a two-page writing sample to: First Light, Theater of the First Amendment, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 6E8, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. All applications must be received no later than Oct. 31, 2008.

Once selected applicants are notified by email, they are required to attend an informational session – led by a local professional playwright – discussing the aspects of writing drama on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 1 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 November through the final draft submission deadline of Friday, Feb. 27, 2009. 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 readings on June 6, 2009 to support the winning high school play and the winner of the George Mason undergraduate playwriting competition. The First Light Moment of Discovery is a production of Theater of the First Amendment, the professional theater in residence at George Mason's Center for the Arts.  Entrants may also e-mail Suzanne Maloney (smaloney@gmu.edu) with questions.  Please include “First Light: 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.

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.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.