By Max Friedlich
12th Grade, Friends Seminary
I am the youngest playwright in this year’s FringeNYC. I applied, never really thinking that my play would be accepted into such a notable play festival. It has been a real eye opener- lots of work, but far less stressful than I had anticipated. Being the youngest playwright in the festival is an odd position to be in. I am both a professional, working in the professional NY theater world and a 17 year old kid. It’s a funny combination. The learning curve has been tremendous. Nothing could have prepared me for the complications of getting a play produced on the New York stage.
In addition, I spent six weeks at the Powerhouse Apprentice Training Program, run by New York Stage and Film. It was an enlightening experience. I got to work with some of the most well known names in the New York theater community (apply for next summer. Seriously). However, being away meant missing table work and two weeks of rehearsal. That was agony. I wanted to be there to support my actors.
The Fringe has very specific time constraints and so that means a lot of editing for time. I had to cut my play down from 110 pages to 93 and that was traumatic. It was painful but I gritted my teeth, did it, and now the play is flowing and sounds amazing. In having to “kill my babies” as they say, I realized how much this piece means to me. The time constraint has been a blessing in disguise. The venue set up is going to be hectic, but overall, everything has been great. We have an unbelievable cast anchored by two brilliant recent LaGuardia grads, Jared Kemp and Brandon Reilly.I would encourage more young writers to submit to the NY Fringe Festival. Age doesn’t matter in this festival – it’s all about having a unique voice and our generation’s has yet to be heard in the theater.
More info on Max’s show SleepOver