Cara Hadden, a rising senior at Chancellor High School, has been chosen along with seven other high school students and recent high school graduates in Virginia to be the 2020 New Voices for the Theater award-winning playwrights. As part of the New Voices workshop, Hadden’s original one-act play, “Forgetting,” was produced in a staged reading that was rehearsed, recorded and released online.
Earlier this year, Hadden wrote and submitted her script to New Voices for the Theater. Founded in 1990, New Voices is a playwriting program at SPARC, an internationally recognized performing arts school based in Richmond. This spring, Hadden’s play was evaluated along with 173 other submissions by a panel of theater artists and educators and was ultimately selected as one of eight winning plays.
Historically, New Voices is a residency, based in Richmond. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the program moved to an online platform with students, staff and the festival company working from all over the United States. This summer, these eight playwrights have participated in virtual workshops led by playwright-in-residence Jami Brandli from her home in Los Angeles, Calif., where they learned more about the art of playwriting and worked to revise their plays. All eight plays progressed to the virtual rehearsal room, where directors and actors met to bring these stories to the 2020 Festival of New Works.
The Festival of New Works, including “Forgetting” by Cara Hadden, premièred last week on the SPARC website at SparcRichmond.org. The performances will be free to access with donations to SPARC welcome to support New Voices for the Theater and other SPARC programs.