The original works of two Hilliard Bradley High School students will be featured in the MadLab Young Writers Short Play Festival this summer.
Junior Kinsey Cantrell and senior Abigail Goodhart said they drafted the plays as part of Bradley's Writer's Craft course.
They were among approximately 25 young writers from central Ohio to submit their play scripts to MadLab, a Columbus-based nonprofit arts group that produces original full-length theater productions and a summer festival of 10 short plays written by high school students.
MadLab selected 10 of the submissions to become productions, and the students will be paired with a writing mentor who will assist the students with stage reading, editing and production of the scripts.
The plays will be staged on Fridays and Saturdays from July 26 to Aug. 10 at the MadLab theater, 227 N. Third St. in downtown Columbus. More details will be available this summer.
Cantrell's interest and love for writing has been nearly lifelong.
"I've known I wanted to write for a living ever since I was in kindergarten," Cantrell said. "It's a tough field to get into, but I've never wanted anything else.
"Writing provides me with a voice."
Cantrell said the opportunity to present her play to a wider audience would provide the feedback she desires to improve her writing skills.
"This is the first script I've written ... it puts emphasis on dialogue and characters," she said. "I like character-driven fiction, so scripts suit me well (and) I could see myself writing more."
Cantrell's play, Priestly, centers on a woman, Delilah, who presents her son, Cane, with an "indulgence," Cantrell said, that provides Cane with automatic entry into heaven.
Cane is offended that his mother presumes he is not otherwise worthy and an argument ensues in which Delilah learns more about her son, as well as herself.
Cantrell also is a member of the junior class cabinet, an officer in the Interact Club, and the opinion page editor of Bradley's student newspaper.
She plans to major in English or journalism but has not decided on a college.
Goodhart's play, Aunt Elly, focuses on a fictional aunt, who is loosely based, Goodhart said, on a former music teacher.
"I made sure I told my parents Aunt Elly wasn't about anyone in our family," Goodhart said.
The play's central character is a girl, the niece of the Aunt Elly, whose goal is to become the biographer of her aunt's colorful life.
"A lot of bizarre things have happened to Aunt Elly," Goodhart said.
Goodhart also is a violinist and a practicing songwriter.
"I work on composing music, too, but think I'm a better lyricist," she said.
Goodhart said she is considering attending Columbia College Chicago or Capital University.