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2:36 PM Mon, Nov. 19th

Young playwrights set the scene at Prescott Center for the Arts

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br>Karen Murphy portrays Elizabeth Rose in the play “Inner Monster,” part of the Young Playwrights Festival at the Prescott Center for the Arts today at 2 and 6 p.m.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br>Karen Murphy portrays Elizabeth Rose in the play “Inner Monster,” part of the Young Playwrights Festival at the Prescott Center for the Arts today at 2 and 6 p.m.

Expect a bout of creative energy today when the curtain opens for the third annual Young Playwrights Festival at the Prescott Center for the Arts.

The 2013 festival features eight plays, which will be performed during two separate performances today.

Casts for all eight productions rehearsed their plays with the help of PCA directors Saturday in preparation for today's performance.

Performances are at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door for $7 each. The Prescott Center for the Arts is located at 208 N. Marina Street.

The festival's eight productions were winning entries for this year's festival, and feature dramas about physical challenges, office-work comedies, Greek dramas "staged as melodramas" and more.

Organizers for the 2013 festival expanded out of Yavapai County this year to include playwrights from Coconino County. The annual event is designed to stimulate creativity in youth.

Festival Coordinator Tiffany Antone said playwrights were invited to submit plays 10 pages or less in length.

"This is the third year for the Young Playwrights Festival. It's open to schoolchildren from kindergarten through 12th grade. We have a committee of readers. We read through all the submissions and duke it out over which plays we actually produce," Antone said.

Young playwrights, she said, aren't afraid to take risks.

"That's the great thing about young kids. They have wild imaginations. They don't know they shouldn't do it on stage, so they take risks. We have bugs trying to get to a wedding. We also have one play, called 'The Inner Monster,' which is a horror piece. (The author) really likes Stephen King. We also have another about a playwright who can't decide what to write for her play. They're all so different," Antone said.

Actress Amy Ertl, 13, performs in a play entitled, "Just Listen," written by student Sedona Ortega. Ertl has performed in other Prescott Center for the Arts plays, but today's show is her biggest role to date.

"It's a cute play. It's about two girls. One of them can't use her hands very well and the other can't speak. They're both made fun of and they both become friends," Ertl said. "I really like the play."

Actress Bethany Clesceri, 13, performs in a play written by student Anna Flurry called "Twelfth Step or What You Will."

Clesceri plays a Shakespearean "gesture" in the play.

"Gestures were usually men. I'm playing a man and I am falling in love with the main character. The main character is falling in love with this other girl. I try to get him to like me. At the end of the play I reveal myself," Clesceri said. "I talk in rhyme the entire play."

"The Tragedy of Basil" Director Don Langford said he got involved in the festival due to his friendship with Antone. Liberty student Devon Bonelli wrote the play.

"He was one of the playwrights selected by a jury of people. They were all read and juried in as worthy of being done," Langford said. "Tiffany and I have known each other for probably 20 years. She was at the high school and was in a play I worked in," he said. "She was a stage manager for me in a children's theater production I did. After that she continued to practice theater. She ultimately graduated from the UCLA playwrights program."