Madeline Hendricks, a Mamaroneck High School senior, has won the Fidelity FutureStage Playwriting contest. Now she is headed to Broadway’s Imperial Theatre on June 15 to see her play produced by the Tony Award winning creative team of Billy Elliot the Musical. Ms. Hendricks celebrated her win by meeting Elton John, composer for Billy Elliot the Musical and honorary chairperson of Fidelity FutureStage.
The contest, a joint initiative of Fidelity Investments and Billy Elliot the Musical, was created to give students throughout the NYC metro area encouragement and opportunity to participate in the theater arts. Students were invited to write a 10-minute, one-act play reflecting one of the themes from the story of Billy Elliot: fulfilling a dream, discovering a special talent or overcoming adversity. The contest was open to all high school students attending school in New York City and surrounding counties in New York and New Jersey.
Ms. Hendricks won the competition with Driver’s Education, a comedic character study about a chatty cab driver, his daughter, and some interesting passengers who teach them important life lessons. Driver’s Education will be performed at the Imperial Theatre on June 15, as part of the Fidelity FutureStage Finale, hosted by entertainment icon Queen Latifah.
“I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like to see my play on Broadway. I might fall over in the theater,” said Ms. Hendricks.
The play was inspired by an actual cab ride Ms. Hendricks took to see her older sister perform in a play at New York’s Tisch School of the Arts. Ms. Hendricks will also be attending college for theater this fall.
More than 500 plays were submitted to the playwriting contest from students in the NYC metro area. Plays were judged by a panel representing Billy Elliot the Musical. The panel included Lee Hall (Book), Jon Finn (Producer), B.T. McNicholl (Resident Director) and 2009 Tony Award winner Gregory Jbara, who plays the character of Dad. Rounding out the judges was Fidelity FutureStage Finale Director Michael Bush.
Leading up to the June 15 performance, Ms. Hendricks will work with members of the Billy Elliot the Musical creative team, including Mr. McNicholl and Nora Brennan (Children’s Casting Director). The world premiere of Driver’s Education will feature Tony-nominee Gregg Edelman (Wonderful Town), Georgi James (A Tale of Two cities), Heidi Blickenstaff (Title of Show) and Heather Ayers (Young Frankenstein).
Fidelity and Billy Elliot the Musical worked with education partner Camp Broadway to manage the playwriting contest. The contest is a new extension this year of Fidelity FutureStage, an arts education program that brings theater to life for 600+ NYC students, representing 10 inner-city schools. The year-long theater education curriculum affords students the opportunity to learn from leading playwrights, directors, designers and actors, and ultimately experience the thrill of bringing their own creativity to life on a professional stage. For more information, visit FutureStage.com.
Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services. Billy Elliot the Musical opened to rave reviews at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre (240 West 45th Street) in November 2008 and has since gone on to win 10 Tony Awards including the award for best musical and a joint best actor award for the three young boys who share the title role of ‘Billy Elliot’ - David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish. For more information, visit billyelliotbroadway.com.