Lake Oswego teen places in national playwriting contest
Lakeridge Junior High eighth-grader inspired by The Breakfast Club
A Lake Oswego 14-year-old girl snagged second place in a national contest for young playwrights.
Chloe Rust, an eighth-grader at Lakeridge Junior High, was the runner-up in the inaugural Dramatic Change: Anti-Bullying Initiative competition. Only one of six finalists from the Oregon-Washington region to advance to the national level, Chloe learned about the honor in an email last month, and she said sprinklings of comedy may have helped her earn the distinction.
Bullying is not a topic to be light about, but I do think humor helps capture peoples attention about it, she said.
In her play, Bullies Anonymous, a bunch of teens from a wide range of school cliques are forced into a parent volunteer-run group for neer do wells. One kids parents threaten him with a trip to juvy hall if he doesnt join.
When she put it on paper it had a certain familiarity to it.
I was like: Oh, it reminds me of The Breakfast Club, and, once I realized it reminded me of The Breakfast Club, I just kind of built off that, she said.
She also had a real-life inspiration for the characters.
They are based on people that I know in my life: I obviously changed the names, Chloe said. Its my own personal form of revenge.
When shes not putting bullies in their place, Chloe enjoys singing, playing the piano, hitting a volleyball over the net and, of course, theater.
At school, she stepped into Helenas role in A Midsummer Nights Dream, and shes also active in Oregon Childrens Theatre. Her play actually qualified for the national contest through OCTs second annual Bully Project. Students in sixth to eighth grades from Oregon and Washington entered the contest, penning original, 10-minute plays centering on bullying. Twenty finalists at contests from regions across the country participated in Dramatic Change, which is actually based on OCTs Bully Project in which Chloe placed third in last year.
Local playwrights will help the Bully Project finalists to revise and craft their scripts, and this years first, second and third place winners will be announced May 1. All six of the finalists play will be featured in a staged reading that the OCTs Young Professionals program will put on at 5 p.m. May 11 in the Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, Portland. To order tickets for the reading, email email@example.com.
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