Young Playwrights Festival preview

The plays in this year’s festival were presented online and are available for free viewing at

Students from Sullivan Central High School took top honors in the 19th Annual Young Playwrights Festival, according to a list of winners announced Nov. 2 by Barter Theatre.

This year’s festival included 228 plays submitted by 266 playwrights from 13 different schools.

Since its inception in 2002, the Young Playwrights Festival (made possible this year by generous support from Crutchfield, Williams-Berry Foundation and Speedway Children’s Charities) has fostered more than 4,000 plays and over 6,000 playwrights.

Ashley Andrade, whose teacher is Kelly Kendrick, earned first place with “Totally Not a Date.” Second place went to “Our Last Date,” by Sullivan Central’s Sunny Beach, teacher Seth Grindstaff. Third place went to “The Middle” by Addison Reedy from John S. Battle, teacher Dr. Melissa Buckles.

The honorable mention plays, in no particular order, are: “The Granny Escape” by Katie Blevins, Dana Hurley and Madison Miller of Chilhowie (Teacher: Rebecca Perry); “Now or Never” by Luke Johnson, Sullivan Central (Teacher: Seth Grindstaff); “My Guardian Angel?” by Emily Hodges, Chilhowie (Teacher: Rebecca Perry); and “The Chained Flower” by Zoe Carter and Jaden Firestone, Northwood (Teacher: David Burns).

The plays were presented online and are available for free viewing at Barter Theatre, the nation’s longest running professional theatre, is located in Abingdon, Virginia. The theatre opened in 1933 during the Great Depression. Founder Robert Porterfield offered patrons admission to the theatre by bartering food and livestock. Barter Theatre was designated as the State Theatre of Virginia in 1946.