May 09--1"Poetry isn't something most guys my age pursue, but creating something, even if it is only a poem, is an awesome feeling," Chance said.
He is already reaping the fruits of his labor as one of the poet winners in the Young Playwrights and Poets Award contest, which was sponsored by The Eugenia Price-Joyce Blackburn Foundation in association with Golden Isles Arts and Humanities. Chance won for a rhyming verse poem he wrote that he will perform today at the Ritz Theatre, 1530 Newcastle St. in downtown Brunswick, as part of the Young Playwrights and Poets Showcase.
"I see a lot of lonely people, girls with low self-esteem and guys who are too afraid of rejection to take a chance. And I see a lot of people who are afraid that, if they approach the person they're interested in, they will look stupid or be laughed at. They decide it's easier to be alone, even if that means being unhappy," Chance said.
"I wanted to tell those people to go after what they want, even if there's a chance it won't work out. In the grand scheme of things, life is really short. You only have a little while to go after what will make you happy, so just do it."
In addition to performing his piece, he will be an actor in his sister Kassidy Walsh's first-place play, "Behind Our Pages.SDRq
His sister said she is looking forward to the performance.
"I entered this contest last year and really enjoyed getting to put on a play that I had written. I won with a twist on a fairy-tale and I've always really liked the idea of taking a story everyone has heard of and making it new and fresh," said Kassidy, an eighth-grade home-schooled student in Brunswick.
Kassidy's fairy-tale twist brings more than a happy ending.
"I liked my play because even though it's a comedy, it has a good message about friendship and perseverance," she said.
Amaria Vail, a Risley Middle School seventh-grader, shares in Kassidy's artistic outlook with her second-place play, "The Apple Project."
She worked with her friend Jazmine Richardson, a Risley Middle School seventh-grader who helped produce the play.
"I thought it would be fun to create a play with one of my friends...because it shows how teenagers can get together for a good cause," Amaria said. She hopes that audience members learn "to always be helpful to each other and to be brave enough to stand up for what (they) love."
Heritage Christian Academy senior Luke Fucetola was inspired by his English book in making his play, "The People Before Me." And with so many different people portrayed in an English book, Luke wants audience members to take the time to appreciate themselves.
"My play sends a message that it is important to be yourself and (I hope) that everyone should try to be him/herself -- not like anyone else," Luke said.
Lucy Lynn Bryson, arts-in-education coordinator for the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities, says this annual contest does more than give students an outlet.
"I think they promote the art of writing and literacy, which is such a good thing. The playwrights, in particular, are getting a really good hands-on experience and are getting a much more realistic vision of being a writer, (such as) having to get feedback from other writers on what direction they should take their plays. They get a glimpse into what it takes to make a play and a sense of ownership because these playwrights have more hands-on experience as a director," Bryson said.
"(As for poetry) I think it's that piece of literature that people are often scared of; it's among the mosst difficult to process, write and read. (But) I think it's exciting to celebrate poetry."
Though Chance Walsh feels that what he wrote isn't as important as the contests in general, he says giving people the chance to express themselves through poetry, art and music is an amazing thing.
"The Young Poets and Young Playwrights (competitions) are both excellent opportunities for young people to get recognition for something that goes beyond basic academics," Chance said.
-- Reporter Brittany Tate writes about lifestyle topics. Contact her at btate@the brunswicknews.com, or at 265-8320, ext. 317.
If you go,
The Young Playwrights and Poets Showcase, hosted by Golden Isles Arts and Humanities in association with the Eugenia Price-Joyce Blackburn Foundation, will be 7 p.m. today at the Ritz Theatre, 1530 Newcastle St. in downtown Brunswick. Writers will receive their awards shortly after the performance. For more information, contact Golden Isles Arts and Humanities at 262-6934 or visit goldenislesarts.org.
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