NYU Launches A Screenplay Festival, Joining Their Established Playwrighting Festival

by Mark Rabinowitz

April 23rd marks the kick off of the inaugural NYU/Tisch School of the
Arts Dramatic Writing Program Screenplay Festival
with a staged reading
of Brian Frank's "The Track." The brainchild of Dramatic Writing Program
professors Mark Dickerman and Richard Wesley, the festival was modeled
on the previously existing playwrighting class and festival. The three
scripts chosen - Elizabeth Regensburger's "Runnin' With Johnson" and
Myla Churchill's "The Judgement Days" round out the lineup - were all
written by graduate students. Contrary to the film industry at large
(and the recent NYU Wasserman awards), two of the three scripts chosen
were written by , as are all three directors.

Viva Knight, producer of the screenplay festival, spoke with indieWIRE by
telephone and said that "the impetus (for the screenwriting festival)
came from screenwriting teachers who understood how valuable it is to
students to see their work performed" and to get the artistic
satisfaction from such performances. The screenplays participating in
the festival were submitted through an open process and chosen by
students in Dickerman and Wesley's screenplay festival class, who
compiled reader's reports and defended their choices. With some faculty
input, the three scripts were then chosen. The members of the class are
also crewing the readings. The directors of the readings are Maggie
Lally ("The Track"), a professor in the dramatic writing program;
Marcina Zaccaria ("Runnin' With Johnson"), and Fredi Walker ("The
Judgement Days"). All of the directors cast their respective readings
from professional actors, with the exception of Zaccaria, as "Runnin'
With Johnson" requires younger actors than are available through NYU's
programs. For that reading, casting notices were placed at various New
York-area performing arts high schools.

[The readings will take place at the Rita and Burton Goldberg Theater at
the Tisch School of the Arts at 721 Broadway in New York City. "The
Track" - April 23rd, 8:00pm and April 26th, 8:00pm; "Runnin' With
Johnson" - April 24th, 8:00pm and April 25th, 3:00pm, and "The Judgement
Days" - April 25th, 8:00pm and April 26th, 3:00pm.]