2019-2020 Theme: Magical Mysteries!
Ready to escape the ordinary? Take a step away from the day-to-day, and let your imagination lead you as you create your very own “Magical Mystery!” If you had the ability to travel to that favorite place (real or imagined) to search for clues to something unknown, where would it be? Would you hop onto that famous hot air balloon (Around the World in 80 Days)? Or would you don your finest fedora, grab your journal, and travel to find a great historic treasure (Indiana Jones)? How about opening your closet door to find a portal into a world where animals can talk (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe)? Tell us a story, write us a poem, or create a play featuring your magnificent mystery! The Renaissance Theatre’s 2019-2020 MindSprouts Project is themed “MAGICAL MYSTERIES!” and it’s your opportunity to use your imagination, writing skills and creativity to tell your own story of fantasy, adventure, and intrigue—all while entertaining your listener. It's your great mystery, so it’s all up to you! You may feel free to use real-life events and stories you create completely, but they must be your work. Think carefully about your characters and settings; and remember to use descriptive words and phrases, since the Renaissance Education team will need to create sets, props and costumes to use for your story.
UPDATE: March 19, 2020
In accordance with Governor Mike DeWine’s Executive Order, the Renaissance has rescheduled, postponed or cancelled events through May 8, 2020.
As our area teachers, students, and families deal with school closures, the Renaissance Education Department will continue its annual MindSprouts Creative Writing program, part of the Mechanics Bank Education Series and with support by Altrusa International, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Typically, area K-12 teachers are invited to schedule a free in-class, “jump start” workshop with Renaissance Teaching Artist Dauphne Maloney, trained by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. However, since many previously scheduled workshops cannot be held due to school closures, the deadline for entries has been extended to Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
The annual MindSprouts Creative Writing contest invites students to submit one composition in one or more of the following categories: short story, play, or poem. This year’s contest theme is “Magical Mysteries!” Top submissions from each grade band in the MindSprouts contest are sent to a celebrity panel for judging, then adapted for the stage and showcased at the Renaissance in May. Past judges for the contest have included SNL writers Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Jeff Richmond, and the Ren's own Artistic Director, Michael Thomas. The MindSprouts 2020 Showcase, originally scheduled for May 14, 2020, has been cancelled and will instead be presented as a virtual showcase with a date to be determined. Certificates for top submissions will be awarded via mail, or at the student’s school at a later date.
All submissions to the MindSprouts contest must correspond to the theme: “Magical Mysteries!” The contest is open to any public, private or homeschooled student in grades K-12. All interested students may submit individually, or students may submit one collaborative work from a group of up to three students. All submissions must be received by the Renaissance no later than April 15, 2020 to be eligible for inclusion in the contest. Submissions will be accepted via mail and email.
RENAISSANCE THEATRE MINDSPROUTS CREATIVE WRITING GUIDELINES
The project is open to any area student grades K through 12, in public, private and home schools. We encourage teachers to discuss with the students the elements of a story: beginning, middle, end, character development and conflict/resolution. More advanced writing techniques should be evident in upper grades.
- ALL STORIES, POEMS, AND PLAYS MUST BE THE ORIGINAL WORK OF THE STUDENT.
- Students must create their own title for each piece.
- The length of stories and plays should be 1 to 3 minutes when read out loud, for grades K-6; and should be 3-5 minutes when read aloud, for grades 7-12.
- Pieces may be written by individuals or groups of up to three individuals. Students may submit more than one entry.
- The theme, "My Great Escape," is meant to inspire and encourage, not restrict students. Short stories, poems or plays should be creative.
- Parents and teachers may edit spelling and grammar, but please allow the student to edit content.
- Items submitted may be of a serious nature or more comedic in tone, true or fictional. Remember to use descriptive words and phrases to help the Ren Education team create sets, props, and costumes to use in your story.
- Submissions may reference real-life events, but all submitted work must be the original work of the student.
- Submissions must be legible, either neatly handwritten or typed.
- Submissions should include a cover sheet with:
- Student name
- Contact information, including phone, email, and address (if home schooled). Contact person may be a teacher or parent.