Fletcher Third-Grader Wins Young Playwrights Festival Award

Local third-grader Brynn Ribbing of Fletcher Elementary School was honored for her play, “The Boy Who Liked Pulling Hair.” P-J photo by Katrina Fuller

She may not be Shakespeare yet, but a local youngster is on her way in the world of the dramatic arts.

Brynn Ribbing, Fletcher Elementary School third-grader, received a top honor for her submission, “The Boy Who Liked Pulling Hair,” from the Young Playwrights Festival. Ribbing was chosen as the winning playwright in the Under 6 category for grades kindergarten through sixth-grade. The festival received 3,600 plays this year.

The Young Playwrights Festival is a partnership between Chautauqua Institution and Florida Studio Theatre which involves a three-part playwriting project for third- and fourth-graders in the area from Chautauqua Lake, Panama and Ripley central schools, as well as Fletcher Elementary School in Jamestown Public Schools District.

Teacher artists from Florida Studio Theatre visit each classroom for third- and fourth-grade to teach students how to write a play, and then the students travel to Chautauqua Institution to hear their plays read aloud.

Awards are then given out, and later, the winning plays are published online by Chautauqua and are performed by the Chautauqua Theater Company at the end of June.

A list of the plays, including Ribbing’s, is available at ciweb.org.

As the title suggests, Ribbing’s play is about a boy who likes pulling his classmates’ hair. One day, however, the boy pulled the hair of a girl who was wearing hair extentions. The extentions came out and the boy ran home screaming, Ribbing said.

She said she is both happy and proud that she won the award.

“I (came up with the play) a little bit in class, and I was just touching my hair, so I just came up with that,” Ribbing said. “(I like writing) because it’s really fun and you can use your imagination and do anything you want.”

She said it is exciting that her play will be performed at the Sarasota Festival of New Plays in May because only a few students get the chance to have that done.

“Other kids don’t usually get this,” Ribbing said.

She said she enjoyed her experience at Chautauqua, and was thrilled to hear her play read there. Ribbing said she hopes to continue writing later on in life, and become a model and a writer as an adult.

For more information on the playwriting festival, visit ciweb.org or www.floridastudiotheatre.org/young-playwrights-festival.


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