- Cherry Creek School District No. 5
Cherry Creek High School students recognized for playwriting skills
Cherry Creek High School senior Riccardo D’Urso is one of three high school winners of the 2022 High School and Middle School Playwriting Competition, sponsored by The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA). Fellow CCHS senior Kavery Kallichanda is one of seven high school finalists. Both were selected from a field of 135 one-act play submissions, which were judged blindly by DCPA artistic, literary and education professionals.
D’Urso’s play, titled “They Stole the Moon,” exposes the effects of mental health struggles in teenagers. D’Urso told the DCPA that as he was writing the play, he took a deep look at himself and the people around him and realized that everyone is going through something. D’Urso and the other two high school winners will have a professionally staged reading of their play on March 5 at the DCPA’s Randy Weeks Conservatory Theater. In addition, each winner receives $250 and their teacher also receives $250 to purchase books or other teaching tools for their classroom.
Kallichanda’s play, titled “Of Yarn and Stars,” is based on Kallichanda’s relationship with her sister. It features a confrontation between the two, which leads to new understandings for both of them.
The DCPA’s Education & Community Engagement Department launched the one-act competition to spark interest in the arts for Colorado high school and middle school students and to assist budding playwrights in developing their skills and furthering their passion for theatre. The program offers free playwriting workshops and the opportunity to submit a one-act play (high school) or 10-minute play (middle school) for professional review. Ten high school finalists, including three winners, and three middle school “spotlight” plays are awarded top honors in the competition. The program has impacted more than 25,000 students since its inception in 2013.