Lyric First Page, a youth playwriting festival, returns to Boston Public Schools

The Lyric Stage Company of Boston, in conjunction with Boston Public Schools (BPS),  announces its second annual Lyric First Page. Lyric First Page brings theater education into the classroom with its second playwriting festival tailored for students in grades 3-12 in the Greater Boston area. Lyric First Page is sponsored by The Village Bank. 

Lyric First Page was created in 2020 to provide playwriting opportunities and resources to Boston Public School students and interested students from the surrounding communities. The inaugural festival of readings in April 2021, featured work that reflected students’ experiences ranging from everyday activities to dreams and even outer space. Lyric First Page’s mission is to provide an outlet for students and connect them with their own potential to be theater makers. 

Students can submit short plays to the Lyric Stage. A volunteer panel of theater professionals and teachers will evaluate submissions on character, dialogue, plot, content, and impact. All playwrights will receive feedback and may be included in a future reading series highlighting the talents of Boston-based students. 

Plays that receive evaluations will be scheduled for virtual readings hosted by the Lyric Stage during the week of June 13, 2022. Works from each level including elementary, middle school, and high school will be showcased in the reading featuring professional Boston-area actors and directors selected by the Lyric Stage. 

A 40-minute playwriting lesson taught by Artistic Director Courtney O’Connor is available on the Lyric Stage website to guide students through the playwriting process. The video focuses on conceptualizing a character and their needs, writing a monologue, and bringing their characters to life. The video runs in real time providing the opportunity for the student to work in tandem with video instruction.

Artistic Director Courtney O’Connor says, “Lyric Stage has long been the home for Boston’s theatrical artists onstage and backstage. In our next fifty years, we want to be a home for Boston-area playwrights as well. With this program, we aim to introduce the joys of playwriting to more students in the Boston schools. We hope we can inspire and nurture this passion for finding a theatrical voice for years to come, and hopefully one day, we’ll produce some of these playwrights on our stage at 140 Clarendon Street.”

“Our theater students and teachers are so excited to gear up for another round of Lyric First Page,” said Paul Sedgwick, Theatre Content Specialist for BPS. “Last year was such an inspiring success. I believe this is the only playwriting initiative of its kind that offers an opportunity for such a wide variety of grade bands (3rd grade through high school) to write original plays and see their work realized. Huzzah!” 

Submissions are accepted at before the deadline of May 6. 

History of the Lyric Stage Company of Boston

Founded in 1974 and in residence at 140 Clarendon Street since 1991, the Lyric Stage Company is Boston’s oldest resident theater company. Its mission is to produce and present live theater in Greater Boston with an intimate approach that promotes inclusivity and connection. The Lyric Stage leads an effort to integrate live theater and theater education into the lives of all residents of greater Boston.