Free High School Play Writing Competition For Adirondack Park Students


Last year Saranac Lake’s professional theatre company Pendragon Theatre provided a unique opportunity to any high school-aged young adults living within the whole Adirondack Park, The Pendragon Young Playwrights’ Festival. The Festival focuses on a competition for high school students to submit a one-act play (up to three plays per playwright or team) on any subject. The February 1st deadline is quickly approaching so I want to encourage young adults to take advantage of the chance to have their winning play performed at the March festival. 

I’m always a bit skeptical of writing competitions. There always seems to be some hidden fee involved, but Pendragon Theatre’s competition is free. The winning playwrights are also given the chance to meet with a creative team to further develop their submission for the stage before the March production.  

The part I like most about this opportunity is there is truly nothing to lose. There are so many required assignments for school that being able to submit a play (10-30 pages) may be just the thing someone needs to be able to look at the mandatory reading and writing a bit differently. Perhaps a young adult will discover a career in live performance that goes beyond acting. I’m not sure what would instigate someone to write a play if he/she is unfamiliar with theatre. I hope it would be enough to know there is very little risk.

Last year my daughter attended the festival, which included free writing seminars and acting warm-ups to familiarize kids with the stage. The event culminated with a free showing of the winnings plays. It was truly amazing. The deadline for submission is February 1st. All the rules and regulations are on the Pendragon Theatre website at Good luck! I look forward to seeing your play at the festival March 29-30.  

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy Adirondack family hikes, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebook online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.


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