Circle Theatre - High School Playwriting Project
The High School Playwriting Project began as a collaboration between Rose Pearson and
Larry Boston (an Eastern Hills High School theatre teacher) in 1996. When Mr. Boston
received a playwriting scholarship award from the Star-Telegram, he approached Ms. Pearson
with the idea of having readings of his students’ plays at Circle Theatre, presented by a
professional director and cast of actors. These readings expanded into what is now known
as the High School Playwriting Project.
Each year, the project begins with annual invitations to area high school teachers and
students to enter 10-minute scripts for evaluation by an experienced panel of judges.
These judges read the anonymously submitted plays, write responses for each script,
and choose 20 plays to send to Connie Whitt-Lambert, theatre professor at Texas
Wesleyan University. This year’s panel of judges included Faye Austin, Devin Berg,
Stefany Cambra, Whitney Blake Dean, Desiree Fultz, Lindsey Hertel, Matt Lyle, Katherine
Martin, Nicole Neely, Steven Pounders, Ernestine Rose, Jacob Rivera-Sanchez, Taylor
Staniforth, and Shane Strawbridge.
Connie Whitt-Lambert and her playwriting students then provide written analyses for each
of the selected twenty plays. From these twenty submissions, four playwrights are then
invited to the Wesleyan campus for additional discussions about their work. This provides
the students with an additional opportunity to edit their original submissions.
The High School Playwriting Project is open to all students and is not limited to theatre
classes. Teachers or students wishing to participate in next year’s playwriting project
may email Liz Stevens at email@example.com or visit the HSPP page at
CircleTheatre.com for more information.
The High School Playwriting Project is underwritten by the Pangburn Foundation, JP Morgan, trustee.
About Circle Theatre
Circle Theatre is an established regional theatre in Fort Worth dedicated to
presenting professional, innovative theatre in an intimate space. Founded in
1981 by Rose Pearson and Bill Newberry, Circle has premiered over 130 plays to
the city in its 36 seasons.
The Theatre's name is derived from its original location on Bluebonnet Circle.
An interim move to Fort Worth's historic Southside took place in 1987. Seven
years later, Circle renovated and moved into its present home, the basement
space of the Sanger Building in Fort Worth's Sundance Square entertainment
district. Patrons enjoy the Theatre's cozy atmosphere and often comment on the
added benefit of being close to the action on the 125-seat thrust stage.
As a Small Professional Theatre (SPT) with Actors' Equity, Circle Theatre is
committed to providing employment for artists pursuing careers in Texas. The
Theatre also extends opportunities for actors and stage managers to join the
Equity Membership Candidacy Program. Circle serves as an insured umbrella
paymaster for other theatres in Texas that employ Equity actors as guest artists.
A year-round main stage season of five plays with an average run of 20
performances each, Circle's shows are often regional premieres or second or
third staging's of new scripts. The Theatre co-sponsors an annual High School
Playwriting Project, which ends with a public presentation by experienced
actors reading finalist scripts by area students.
Circle Theatre's plays and performances have received many accolades over the
years and been included on multiple Best of Year lists. "Circle Theatre, had
the best batting average on the stage. Circle was the most-cited theater in my
Top Ten lists each year from the Aughts, with 12 shows mentioned" wrote Mark
Lowry, critic for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and TheatreJones.com.
In August of 2016, Circle suffered the loss of Rose Pearson, Co-founder and
Executive Director. She worked tirelessly to ensure the Theatre's future. Upon
her passing, Bill Newberry, her husband and Circle Co-founder, became the
Executive Director and retired in 2017. Tim Long, who has been a part of the
theatre for the past 18 years, is the new Executive Director. Circle Theatre
is proudly carrying on Rose's legacy by playing an active role in today's
regional theatre movement, here in the city of Fort Worth!
230 W. Fourth Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Sundance Square Entertainment District