Even so, he’s quickly established himself in the world of playwriting. Meade, now a senior at Gate City High School, was recently named one of nine winners in a statewide playwriting contest called New Voices for the Theater.
Next month, Meade will travel to Richmond for a two-week residency, where his play will be performed by professional actors.
Writing the play
Open to all Virginia high school students, the contest required playwrights to pen an original one-act play on a topic of their choosing. Meade’s play, called “Field of Flowers,” is about a group of soldiers in World War I and their letters home to their loved ones.
Meade said he submitted the play last winter but didn’t find out he’d won until the day before his senior prom.
“I get the call, and I’m sitting there and I’m just astounded, because I honestly had forgotten about submitting my play,” Meade said. “I submitted it way back in January, so I had to wait all the way up until April. It was very shocking.”
Meade will travel to Richmond in June for the residency, where he will participate in a workshop with professional actors, directors and playwrights. Meade will be joined by his fellow winners, all of whom are from governor’s schools or fine arts schools, he said.
“We will be actually working on our play and other ideas that we have,” Meade said. “It’s a workshop basically, like a writer’s camp.”
The culmination of the residency is the Festival of New Works: staged readings of the winning plays followed by discussions with the audience. All staged readings will be performed by Richmond theater professionals, according to the contest website.
Meade will graduate from high school on Tuesday and plans to attend UVA-Wise in the fall. After college, he hopes to remain in the area and teach English and theater.
“Starting as a junior and then coming to the point that I have with being a state champion now, and then with all the things in between, it shows that you can find your passion … late in your high school career and still go far with it,” Meade said.