Nottingham Student Work Shown at Playwright FestivalFor Nottingham senior Tyler Dale, the third time really is a charm: the third year he entered a script into the Syracuse Stage Young Playwright Contest, his work was selected and he was named a finalist!
During his sophomore year, Tyler wrote what he calls a “silly drama” about a depressed, drunken sailor being consoled by his neighbor. When that story didn't make the final cut, he tried again the following year, submitting a comedy-drama about a reclusive author having a tense visit with his sister. That piece wasn’t selected either.
“One of the first things on my mind when I started twelfth grade was entering the festival because I knew I wouldn't get the opportunity again once I graduated,” Tyler explained. “I'm extremely thankful that I was selected to be a finalist this year. It feels like part of a dream has come true.”
His work, called “Concerning the Rabbits,” was shown during the first night of the virtual Young Playwrights Festival in late May – one of eight 10-minute plays that were performed virtually for digital audiences, highlighting the work of Tyler and other high school playwrights across Central New York.
The play, set in a run-down asylum in 19th century London, centers around the idea that asylum staff have been unable to help one particular female patient who's become increasingly unpredictable and difficult to work with. The superintendent of the asylum decided to hire a local psychiatrist who's implied to be somewhat of a celebrity for helping people in similar situations. The play focuses on his unorthodox attempts to communicate with her and get an idea of who and what exactly he's dealing with.
“There's a bit of a twist at the end, so I don't want to share too much,” Tyler hinted.
The experience of writing the play and being selected for the festival has also helped shape Tyler’s career aspirations.
“I've always been interested in writing and I thought I wanted to write novels at one point,” he said. “But I've also struggled with writing in the novel format. Only recently have I started to think that maybe being a playwright or even a screenwriter is more what I'm cut out for. It feels less restrictive and allows me be to be more descriptive and creative.”
Tyler plans to study English at Ithaca College, where he hopes to broaden his ideas while minoring in the school’s Writing for Film and TV program. Congratulations and best of luck, Tyler!