Voices of Youth Theatre Festival

Powerstories Theatre is proud to have presented the inaugural Voices of Youth Theatre Festival, showcasing local, national, and international playwrights, ages 10 to 18, to a global audience. The festival is a combination of 3 virtual plays or scenes, 1 virtual musical, 1 in-theatre performance, and a Voices of Youth Kid & Kid-at-Heart Talent Showcase live on Zoom.

Closing Ceremony & Talk Back with Youth Playwrights

The festival ran from Thursday, July 29 through Saturday, July 31, with an online Zoom closing celebration and talkback with the youth playwrights, directors, and cast on Sunday, August 1. All performances can be enjoyed through August 5 with ticket link and password.

Winner of Powerstories’ 2020 ShineBright Talent Competition for her outstanding spoken word performance, Samantha Bollinger will be our youth emcee for the Voices of Youth Talent Showcase.

The Voices of Youth Kid and Kid-at-Heart Talent showcase features Zda Sumbillo, 10, spoken word artist Samantha Bollinger, 14; singers Sonali Olivia and Jason Ensor, musicians Chicago Saddletramps; and storyteller Rowena D’Amico-Scott.

(*For those joining us in the theatre on Thursday night for the live presentation, the second pre-recorded show will be available for you to watch. For those joining us virtually on Thursday, the live-in-theatre production will be recorded and available the following day.)

All pre-recorded shows are available to watch from 8 PM debut until 8 PM on Thursday, August 5.

Thursday, July 29 – 8 pm*

Live in Theatre/then available the next day Pre-Recorded “The Schemer and the Alien” by Christiana Golian, age 16 (Florida)
With the confirmation from the pentagon that 3 videos of UFOs are legitimate, Dale goes a bit crazy when such news isn’t broadcasted as loudly as he believes it should be. Catching the attention of the pentagon for attempts to make this news more prevalent to those around them, special agent E. X. Terrestrial is sent to investigate. What these investigations bring out, however, changes Dale’s and his best friend Eliza’s lives forever.

About Christiana
A rising senior in high school, Christiana started her theatrical journey with acting when she was entering her sophomore year and only began exploring playwriting this past year. The Schemer and the Alien got Top Honors at the Regional Thespian Festival of 2020 and now Christiana is trying her hand at directing this short comedy.  The Schemer and the Alien got Top Honors at the Regional Thespian Festival of 2020 and now Christiana is The Schemer and the Alien got Top Honors at the Regional Thespian Festival of 2020 and now Christiana is trying her hand at directing this short comedy. 

Pre-Recorded “Staged Delights and Frights” by Julia McComiskey, age 10 (New York)
A drama about two girls who were friends, but now they betrayed each other.

About Julia
Julia McComiskey and Natalie Rodriguez met and became friends through the Wonderstruck Players. Thanks to the guidance of Courtney Gronewold, the young friends wrote this script together. Julia McComiskey is from New York City. She has been in Zoom renditions of Broadway shows, PSA’s, and a few films. An aspiring writer herself, Julia tried her hand at writing her first theatrical production with her friend.

Friday, July 30 – 8 pm

Pre-Recorded “The Magic Pencil,” by Dreamer’s Teatro Crew: Olegario Pedro Lopez, age 16, Alexander Pedro Lopez, age 13, Nani Denning, age 13, Leilani Denning, age 13, and Israel Colón, age 15 (Florida)
A friendship gets tested when two middle-school boys are made to confront a couple of bullies at school.

About Dreamer’s Teatro Crew
DTC is a theatre troupe based out of Dade City, FL, comprised primarily of high school and middle school students living in the Lock Street area. Together … original, theatrical works of art are created that are improvised, workshopped, rehearsed, written, and performed for the Spanish-speaking community surrounding them, as well as the English-speaking community at large. and performed for the Spanish-speaking community surrounding them, as well as the English-speaking community at large.

Pre-Recorded “Dear Pen Pal” by Annie Brown, age 18 (Oklahoma)
Dear Pen Pal follows 7 8th graders (Maisie, Sam, Liam, Sarah, Sydney, Sky, and Jo) as they receive an assignment to write and receive anonymous letters from a classroom pen pal. The lesson turns into anything but what was planned as these students learn about love, loss, frustration, acceptance, and how everything is never as it seems!

About Annie
Annie Brown, author of Dear Pen Pal, loves to write and share stories about how we, as humans, deal with change. Starting as a performer from a young age, she knows the array of emotions a performance can spark in both the audience and the performers! Annie hopes to not only highlight how a younger age range experiences emotion but also provide minimalistic, low-cost shows for studios and schools! “Having accessibility to the arts from such a young age has changed my life entirely and no child should be robbed of the opportunity to both experience and be apart of the magic of theatre.”

Saturday, July 31 – 8 pm

Pre-Recorded “Super Z” by Zda Sumbillo, age 10 (The Philippines)
Zda is Super Z, who transformed into a superhero to save people from being infected with the Zombie outbreak, which is similar to what we are experiencing now…. a global pandemic due to Covid-19 and other variants.

About Zda
Zda “Z” Sumbillo is a 10-year old consistent academic awardee and a winner in the 2018 Song Festival in her school. A bronze medalist, Rising Star Category – Voice in the 2020-2021 Canadian International Music Competition. She is also a Gold Medalist – Voice in the 2021 Quebec Music Online International Competition. She played the role of Snitch, the Fox in the Seven Little Penguins in Repertory. Actively participated and played various roles as a work shopper at Atlantis Theatrical, Repertory, Trumpets Playshop, and ABS CBN-Star Magic. She performed as Cinderella, soloist for “In My Own Little Corner”, lead singer and as Little Girl in the Prince of Egypt for “When You Believe”, and part of the ensemble for “One Day More” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat” for her first international musical performance in Lights, Stage, Sing Cabaret under Broadway Everyday Star Theater. She recently participated in Eurovision Musical Contest 2 representing Denmark under BEST in Inspiration Theater Co., UK. She will be part of Atlantis Theatrical’s The Big One-Oh! Online Edtion this July. Z is thrilled and grateful to be chosen as one of the playwrights of the Voices of Youth Theatre Festival. She dreams big and loves to inspire people by sharing her talent for singing, dancing, performing, and the gift of sharing a story. Residing in the Philippines, Zda is very interested in the performing arts and

Talent Showcase: Live on Zoom – FREE

Emceed by Powerstories’ 2020 ShineBright Talent Competition winner, spoken word artist Samantha Bollinger, the talent showcase features actors, singers, musicians, and spoken word poets ages 8 to 18.

Sunday, August 1 – 8 pm

Festival Closing Celebration: Live on Zoom – FREE

Celebrate online with talkbacks with playwright, director, and cast of festival shows.