Young Playwrights Festival

Each year, FST receives play submissions by playwrights ages 5-18 from around the world, submitted through FST's award-winning WRITE A PLAY program.

In selecting winners, FST looks for plays with an imaginative plot and character, a strong sense of rhythm in the dialogue, innate wisdom, and diverse themes. The most exemplary plays submitted by students in grades K-6 are produced in a full-scale, professional production. 

The year-long program culminates with FST’s Annual Young Playwrights Awards Ceremony each spring, where students, their families, educators, playwrights, and dignitaries will come together virtually to celebrate the outstanding plays created over the course of the year.

Click here to download the WRITE A PLAY submission packet.

Congratulations to our 2022 Winning Playwrights! Click the "2022 Winners" tab above for a full list of our winning titles and playwrights.

Congratulations to our 2022 winning young playwrights! 

UNDER SIX Winners: Kindergarten-6th Grade

All Signs Point to Friendship
Lila Freymann
Bay Haven School of Basics Plus (Sarasota County), Mrs. Fancher—3rd Grade

The Bucket Filler and the Bucker Dipper
Kensington Kotuby and Madison Thomas
Ashton Elementary (Sarasota County), Mrs. Kreger's 1st Grade Class 

The Flame of Age
by Students in Mr. Saldivar & Mrs. Hall's 3rd Grade Class
Tuttle Elementary (Sarasota County)

Gone Fishing
Conner Haag
Bradenton Christian School (Manatee County), Mrs. Hurles - 4th Grade

The Grandma That Eats Everything
Daniel C. Contreras
St. Joseph's Pro Cathedral School (Camden, NJ), Ms. Bergen - 3rd Grade

Kids Can't Teach
Mallory Boudreaux
Bradenton Christian School (Manatee County), Mrs. Hurles - 4th Grade

The Last Acorn
Emma Bernardi
Island Village Montessori School (Sarasota County), Ms. Debbie & Ms. Anne - 3rd Grade

Phone Problem
John Rivera
Holy Name School (Camden, NJ), Ms. Steiner - 4th Grade

The Sad Penguin
Jamie Hinck
Pine View School (Sarasota County), Ms. Williams - 3rd Grade

Talk to the Hand
Kaleen Callahan, Annabelle Froelich, and Leeann Lukan
Island Village Montessori School (Sarasota County), Ms. Amy - 4th Grade

What Lies in the Ancient Swamp
Gianna Best, Carter Cares, Danielle Chuc, Logan Dennis, Ayden Fejzic, Payton Hirst, Lily Kis, Sophia Lewellen, Isabell Nese, Nicole Rojas, Kade Roth, Trey Tetack, and Lukas Willhoite
Ascension Lutheran School (Sarasota County), Ms. Anklam - 5th & 6th Grade


UNDER SIX: Honorable Mentions

The Great Manatee Heist
Leon Osorio
Bay Haven School of Basics Plus, Mrs. Wedebrock – 3rd Grade

The Greatest Gifts
Alexandria Lee
Bradenton Christian School, Mrs. Hurles – 4th Grade

Lost In Space
Angel Burgos, Joshua DelValle, Hezekiah Figuero, David Foster, Jr., Lyla Lebron, Alani Lopez, Josselyn Martinez-Hernandez, Jaiden Montano, Jaleni Rivas, John Rivera, MaKayla Rivera, Marlen Sosa
Holy Name School, Sister Rosemary – 5th Grade

Erin Lopez
Southside Elementary, Mrs. Ryckman – 3rd Grade

The Eagle and the Dragon
Russell Simonetta
Tatum Ridge Elementary, Mrs. Braunstein – 3rd Grade

Our Alaskan Summer Vacation
Greydon LaGrow
Tatum Ridge Elementary, Mrs. Braunstein – 3rd Grade

The Mission (Gone Wrong)
Michaela Beachy
Toledo Blade Elementary, Mrs. Austin – 4th Grade

The Pizza Thief
Makenzie Roeder
Toledo Blade Elementary, Mrs. Austin – 4th Grade

Waterman vs. Fireman
Dariel Acosta, Joseph Ancinec, Orlando Benitez, Timothy Brice, Leo Duncan, Zahir Gomez, Brandon Jimenez, Ladarius Leggett, Samuel Louis-Gene, Isaac Martinez, Rene Mendez, Asher Moore, José Ojeda, Izel Reyes, Sebastian Santana, Anthony Soto, Austin Soto
Visible Men Academy, Coach Blue – 4th Grade


SEVEN UP Winners: Middle and Highschool

Lucas Hutches
Manatee School for the Arts (Manatee County), Mr. Bajjaly - 6th Grade
Chronicles of Cindernat and the Three Musketeers

Anabela Burns, Blaze Bennett, Michael Federici, Mark Hornyak, Kameron Helmick, Nicholas Stratakes, Anna Scholler, Caleb Crowe, Natalie Pernia, John Mcclain, Kevin Sweeney
The Haven Academy (Sarasota County), Mr. John - Various Grades

The Music Man
Leandro Nieves
Holy Name School (Camden, NJ), Mr. Carroll - 8th Grade

Only Imagine
Maddie Holdway
Booker Middle School (Sarasota County), Ms. Mills - 8th Grade

Spark of Light
Estella Viers
Booker Middle School (Sarasota County), Ms. Mills - 8th Grade

A True Friendship
Lihi Cohen
Shelanu School (Tel Mond, Israel), Bar Bracha Menashe - 6th Grade

Vending Machine Envy
Jacob Ranke and Logan Ranke
Branden River High School (Manatee County), Mr. Robinson-Shinall - 10th & 12th Grade

Matrick Thorpe
Pine View School (Sarasota County), Mrs. O'Mahony - 9th Grade


SEVEN UP: Honorable Mentions

Journey to the Past
Nya Chambless and Allie McLaughlin
Booker Middle School, Ms. Mills – 8th Grade

Worst Day Ever?
Roman Blankenship
Braden River High School, Mr. Robinson-Shinall – 10th Grade

Astonishing Grace
Melonie 'Grace' Seymour
Manatee School for the Arts, Mr. Bajjaly– 6th Grade

The Big Acorn
Miani Cruz
Manatee School for the Arts, Mr. Bajjaly– 6th Grade

Cooking Battles
Scott Sanclemente
Manatee School for the Arts, Mr. Bajjaly– 6th Grade

The House
Vanessa Diez
Manatee School for the Arts, Mr. Bajjaly– 6th Grade

The Mushroom Fairy Cabin
Emilee Teeple
Manatee School for the Arts, Mr. Bajjaly– 6th Grade

Witch's Case
Cyrus Lajoie
Manatee School for the Arts, Mr. Bajjaly– 6th Grade

Life! And Laughter!
James Fleming
St. Columba’s High School, Mrs. Malcolm– 9th Grade

Submit Your Play!

For guidelines on how to submit your play to the 2023 Young Playwrights Festival playwriting competition, click here. Priority deadline for submitting your play: February 24, 2023.


Each year, the WRITE A PLAY experience culminates on Florida Studio Theatre’s five-theatre campus with Young Playwrights Festival (YPF) Day, an annual celebration of children’s imagination and creativity. Participating students, teachers, and families from across the state of Florida and from as far as Scotland and Israel, come together to enjoy live performances of the year’s winning plays. Following these live performances, playwrights are honored in an awards ceremony and are presented with certificates and medals on stage.

For any questions and more information, contact Shelby Lynhall at [email protected] or by calling 941.366.9797.


Young Playwrights Festival in the News

April 15, 2022  I  SUNCOAST VIEW  I  FST Presents Collection of Award-Winning Plays Written by Young Playwrights

April 24, 2022  |  SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE  |  A Salute for Florida Studio Theatre's Young Playwrights Award Winners

May 6, 2022  I SRQ MAGAZINE  I  Creating a Home For All

May 10, 2022  I EAST COUNTY OBSERVER  I  Braden River High teacher and students earn Florida Studio Theatre's Write A Play awards