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Local Students See Plays Come to Life At Stamford's Palace Theatre

Ellis Jones with his Emerging Young Artists Award.
Ellis Jones with his Emerging Young Artists Award. Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. – Five students from the tri-state area were awarded Emerging Young Artist Scholarships for their original plays, and four finalists were able to see their works come to life at The Palace Theatre in June.

The 2015 Emerging Young Artist Scholarship seeks to instill a lifelong appreciation for the arts by providing students with opportunities to produce original works of all genres. This year, competitors were challenged to write a 15-minute, one act Shakespearean play. The four finalists saw their plays performed at the Student New Play Festival June 17 when Broadway’s Jennifer Werner, associate director of the Tony-winning hit “The Book of Mormon,” directed a performance of each finalist’s play by a cast of New York actors.

The five students rewarded for their creations are:

  • Olivia Grossman, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, was awarded honorable mention for her play, “Black Hawthorn”
  • Alexa LaVersa, of Stamford, was named third runner up for her play, “I Am Not A Feminist… Am I?”
  • Ellis Jones, of Scarsdale, was named second runner up for his play, “Loser Like Us”
  • Jubilee Johnson, of New City, New York, was first runner up for her play, “I Am Not My Hair”
  • Stephanie Walsh of Norwalk, Connecticut, was awarded the grand prize for her play, “Blank”

Jones took the advice of his high school English teacher to enter the competition, as he was interested in exploring writing in the format of a play. His play, “Losers Like Us,” draws inspiration from his own life through two opposite characters. Jones acknowledges that being selected as a recipient for this award has instilled in him a new motivation.

The recipients were honored at The Palace Theatre’s Annual Gala May 2, which was hosted by comedy legend Jay Leno. 

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