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Alessandra Roberts ’24 Named One of Ten Young Playwrights by Palm Beach Dramaworks

Alessandra Roberts portrait for playwright festival article

Alessandra Roberts ’24 was named one of 10 winners of the Palm Beach Dramaworks Young Playwrights 10-Minute Play Contest. This is the first time a student from Saint Andrew’s School has been selected for this contest. 

Each play entered into the contest had to be submitted by a teacher. Mr. Pentler, Alessandra’s Honors Creative Writing teacher, knew that when he read her play, an independent study project as part of his class, it should be entered. 

"The wonderful thing about Ali's play is that the first draft read as if it had been written by a talented college student, but after several revisions, the work now reads as if it were written by a professional playwright, post-graduate school. Her commitment to the revision process is truly exceptional."

Alessandra’s piece was first selected as part of a group of 20 plays written by high school students. She was given professional feedback for improving and revising her play and given a week to make the revisions. Her revised play was then reviewed by a panel of professional playwrights and theatre practitioners based on a carefully constructed rubric. The rubric focused on aspects such as play structure, dialogue, research, characterization, and overall creative process. The judges were only allowed to pick up to 10 plays. 

As one of the ten students chosen, Alessandra had the opportunity to attend a masterclass and Q&A session with playwright Mark St. Germain. 

“It was really awesome to just discuss playwriting, and not just playwriting, but screenwriting as well with him.” 

Her 10-minute play is a dark comedy entitled “Rest in Pieces.” The play also won a Superior at the District 10 Thespys and will be adjudicated again at the Thespian State Festival in March. 

Currently, the play is in the rehearsal stage and will be performed as a table read by three equity actors and directed by a professional director. She will have the opportunity to attend one rehearsal where she will be able to watch the director, and three actors rehearse her play. 

“I’ve never seen anyone direct what I’ve written. So it’s going to be super interesting to see another director’s interpretation of what I've written and to see how other actors interpret these characters. I’m really, really curious, above all, to see what they do with it.”

The staged reading of all ten plays will take place on Wednesday, February 28, at 7:00 pm at Palm Beach Dramaworks in West Palm Beach, FL. 

Alessandra was recently accepted to NYU Tisch for Film and the FSU College of Motion Picture Arts BFA film program.

Saint Andrew’s School is proud that Alessandra has been recognized for her creative talents by Palm Beach Dramaworks.  

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