Playwright competition winner follows in sister’s footsteps |

Playwright competition winner follows in sister’s footsteps

April E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

NEW CASTLE – Allison Schaiberger and her family get a kick out of people watching at the airport.Observing the humorous quirks of those taking to the friendly skies provided inspiration for Schaiberger’s award-winning short play, “Seat 23A.””I wanted to focus on humor, and the play is about the strange things people do when they fly,” said the 16-year-old Schaiberger, a Glenwood Springs High School junior.”Seat 23A” debuts at 7:30 p.m. today and Tuesday at the Black Box Theater at Aspen High School. The 10-minute short won the Theater Masters Aspiring Playwrights Competition, a juried event established in 2002 for Roaring Fork Valley high school students.”The play has two main characters,” she said. “One is a high-strung gal really worried about flying on an airplane, and the other is a guy sitting next to her who is just trying to get through the flight. She even forces him to watch the safety video.”Like her 20-year-old sister, Audrey, Schaiberger is a winner of the Theater Masters competition judged each year by a professional panel. Winning the contest awards Schaiberger the opportunity to work with Pesha Rudnick, a freelance director based in Boulder with affiliations in New York and Los Angeles.”Allison is terrific; in fact, I would venture to say her play is one of the strongest comedic pieces in our lineup,” Rudnick said, by cell phone. “We’re leading with her play.”Rudnick said Schaiberger has an enviable talent for the craft.

“For such a young writer, she really has a great grasp of what makes a short comedy work,” Rudnick said. “She created vivid characters immediately. I’m excited that Allison gets to see her work come to life by local, professional actors. I hope Allison’s work inspires other young people to write.”Schaiberger is also looking forward to seeing her play – written in her high school creative writing class – acted out on stage.”I am a little nervous, but I think I’ll be more excited,” she said. “It’s one of those you just need to try. You kind of have to go for it and try.”She recalls being in the audience to watch her sister’s play four years ago at the Black Box Theater.”I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is such a great opportunity for her to do this,'” Schaiberger said.When she was brainstorming ideas for the play, Schaiberger gave Audrey, a junior at the University of Colorado-Boulder, a call for advice.”She was probably in the middle of homework or something,” Schaiberger said.Schaiberger described her sister and her parents, Peter and Jennifer, as a close-knit bunch. The family, of New Castle, like to travel every summer on vacation.

“I feel very fortunate to win this competition as it holds a special meaning for my family,” Schaiberger said. “I read the play to my family and they thought it was funny. My sister enjoyed it.”Audrey now studies chemical engineering at CU. Although Schaiberger is talented at play writing, dancing at the Glenwood Dance Academy, and singing in local productions such as “Oliver” and “Les Miserables,” she may take a more scientific path in life.Just like her sister.Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext. 16601aclark@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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