Write On

Write On

What is Write On?

Write On is Hartford Stage’s Annual Young Playwrights’ Competition and is open to all Connecticut residents in grades 9-12. From among these applicants, 5-6 are selected to participate in the program. The program is modeled on Hartford Stage’s new play development process, and Write On playwrights have the unique opportunity to learn about professional play development first-hand. Accepted students will work with a professional playwright to turn their ideas into ten-minute play scripts. Over the next few months, the playwright will lead students in intensive writing workshops held at Hartford Stage. The program will culminate with readings of the ten-minute plays performed by local actors and directed by professional directors who work closely with the young playwrights.

Writing Mentor

Aaron JafferisAaron Jafferis is a playwright and hip-hop theatre maker. Aaron and composer Byron Au Yong’s Stuck Elevator premiered at the American Conservatory Theatre, where it was named “high point of the theatrical year” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Their oratorio Trigger, aka (Be)longing premiered at the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech as part of the 10-year memorial of the Virginia Tech shooting, then moved on to MDC Live Arts and Long Wharf Theatre/International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Aaron and Byron’s current project Activist Songbook interviews Asian American organizers nationwide to create a collection of new songs and raps for current activists to use in movement-building. Aaron’s other works include How to Break – a hip-hop play about teenagers learning to live while their bodies are breaking, based on Aaron’s experience as writer-in-residence at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital; Kingdom – a hip-hop/rock musical about the Latin Kings which premiered at The Old Globe; and Shakespeare: The Remix, about a high school rapper battling the ghost of William Shakespeare. Aaron also worked with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services and dozens of refugees from around the world to create Stories of a New America, a play touring with Collective Consciousness Theatre.

Current projects include a Long Wharf Theatre commission about a Latinx gang leader and brutal white cop imprisoned together (Tone, with Antonio Fernandez); Smooth Criminal – a hip-hop play about a nerdy white kid desperate to liberate his people as soon as he can figure out who they are; and a touring solo show with accompanying workshops – What Is Race and How Did I Catch It? Honors include a Creative Capital Award, Richard Rodgers Award, Sundance Institute/Time Warner Fellowship, NEA Art Works Grant, NEFA National Theatre Project Grant, San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, and multiple MacDowell Fellowships. A former Open Rap Slam champion at the National Poetry Slam Championships, Aaron founded The Word poetry-in-the-schools program in New Haven, and teaches hip-hop theatre for liberation in schools, colleges, and organizations nationwide. www.aaronjafferis.com.

Need Inspiration?

Send us your idea for a 10-minute play inspired by either a news story, or a moment in your personal life.

  • What people, places, and events grab your attention?
  • Who are the characters? Is there anyone or anything that piques your interest?
  • Does my idea contain a clear conflict?
  • Can I explore this topic in a 10-minute format?