‘I’m very excited’: Okanagan teen makes finals of local playwriting contest
7th February 2019

It’s a contest meant to encourage local playwrights, and typically most of the finalists are professionals.

This year, however, a Kelowna Secondary School student is among the winning playwrights.

Krysta Carroll’s play premieres in Kelowna this weekend, along with the productions penned by the other finalists — part of The Black Cat 10 Minute Play Competition, put on by New Vintage Theatre.

“I’m very excited,” said Carroll. “I can’t wait.

“[The play] is called ‘My Time’ and it follows a story of a young girl. It explores the meanings of life and death and being a teenager.”

The competition is an annual event where local playwrights from the Thompson-Okanagan compete to have their plays produced.

“We get to see Okanagan stories come to the stage,” said Bonnie Gratz, the artistic director at New Vintage Theatre. “It’s a chance for us to really boost our local playwrights.”

The manuscripts are judged blindly so the judges don’t know who the authors are.

“Usually they are pretty established playwrights, although there are some new playwrights that get in every year,” said Gratz. “To have someone as young as Krysta is really remarkable.”

At 15 years old, she is the youngest person to reach the finals of the competition.

“I could see all the rankings coming in [and] I was like, ‘Wow this is really, really cool!’” said Gratz. “As someone who reads Krysta’s writing I know it is amazing, but to have other people recognize that as well is very, very exciting.”

This year, Krysta’s fellow finalists include a university professor and a professional theatre artist.

“It is amazing. It is incredible to me that my work stood up against theirs and it is really exciting for me,” Carroll said.

Her play, along with the productions penned by the other finalists, will premiere on Friday and Saturday at the Black Box Theatre in Kelowna.

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