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Programming - Student Playwriting Competition Showcase

Readings of the winning plays from ATG’s first student playwriting competition.

Sponsor: Westminster Presbyterian Church

High School Winner: Canary by Rachel Whalen

A young man deals with the loss of a friend.


Director: David Oliver

College Winner: My Birthday Party by Wei He

A woman looks back on a close friendship.


Director: Megan Callahan

About the Playwrights

Rachel Whalen is a senior at Williamsville South High School. She was named a captain of both her varsity field hockey and softball teams this year. She has been writing articles for the Buffalo News Next section since her sophomore year. This year, Rachel resurrected her high school newspaper, serving as editor and contributing writer. She is co-president of her school’s National Honor Society. Her poetry has been recognized by the Williamsville Central School District’s annual poetry festival. She plays oboe in the Williamsville South Wind Ensemble. Her senior year she played in the All-County honor band. Rachel will be attending Cornell University in the fall.

Wei He is a bilingual playwright and fiction writer from Inner Mongolia, China, and is now living in Pittsburgh, PA. She holds an MA degree in Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio and is currently an MFA candidate in the Dramatic Writing Program at Carnegie Mellon University. Her fiction, poetry and dramatic works in English and Mandarin have been published in the United States, China and Taiwan, including her full-length play Zhi Tao published by Qunyan Press in 2013. And she is proud of her secret recipe of Sand-wei-ch.

Photos by Vincent Lopez

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