Return to Headlines

Two KSD Students, also Siblings, Selected for National Playwright Festival

Jared Goudsmit (senior at Kirkwood High School) and Kyra Gousmit (8th grade student at Nipher Middle School) were announced as two of 12 playwriters from across the country to be featured in the 27th annual The Blank Theatre Young Playwrights Festival (YPF) in Hollywood, CA. 

YFP is a 27 year-old nationwide playwriting competition for writers ages 9 to 19. The 12 best plays are chosen by a panel of theatre professionals from submissions across America. Winning playwrights are provided careful mentoring and direction from industry professionals to help prepare their work for public performance and hone their skills, talent and confidence. The Blank Theatre opened in Hollywood, CA in 1990, with a commitment to the enrichment of Hollywood’s cultural life through production of first-rate theatre, education of current and future artists, and creation of groundbreaking new works for the theatrical repertoire.

Jared and Kyra received calls from Daniel Henning, Founding Artistic Director of The Blank, to let them know that their plays were selected be performed. Jared’s play, “The Plunger of Truth”, and Kyra’s play, “Up a Tree”, were selected. This is only the second time in the 27-year history of YPF that siblings had plays selected, and the first time it has happened in the same year.

As part of YPF, Jared and Kyra will both have their plays professionally produced for weekend-long runs. Jared’s play will be staged June 6-9 while Kyra’s will be staged June 13-16. 

This is the second time Jared was selected to YFP. His play, “Derailed,” was accepted into the program last summer which is soon to be published by Samuel French theatrical company.

According to The Blank Theatre website: “nowhere else in the nation can young playwrights receive the prize of seeing their vision come to life on stage in a professional production featuring known actors from film, television and theatre. The plays are crafted by seasoned professional directors and each is given several public performances in a month-long Festival. The Festival plays a critical role in training and supporting the next generation of theatre artists.”

Jared and Kyra are the children of Frank Goudsmit and Michelle Zielinski. After graduating from KHS, Jared plans to attend Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Kyra is excited to wrap-up middle school at Nipher, and start KHS as a freshman in the fall.

For more information about The Blank and YFP, please visit The Blank website: