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SCWriP’s Young Writers Camp to Hold Benefit Reading to Fund High School Playwriting Workshop

Young Writers Camp, a 26-year-old program of the South Coast Writing Project (SCWriP) at UC Santa Barbara, is holding a benefit reading Monday, March 14, 2016, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the San Marcos High School cafeteria to raise scholarship funds for its first ever High School Playwriting Workshop.

The reading, co-sponsored by the San Marcos Royals Writers Society, will feature several local and acclaimed authors: Amada Irma Perez, David Holmes, Val and Jack Hobbs, Cynthia Carbone Ward and Lori Anaya, who all are educators and fellows of SCWriP.

It will also feature two San Marcos students, Gabby Goldberg and Megan McQueen, reading their winning pieces from a poetry slam earlier this year.

The evening will be emceed by former San Marcos drama teacher Phil Levien, who along with David Holmes will be leading the Playwriting Workshop in the summer.

For over 20 years, Levien and Holmes collaborated to lead a rich drama program at San Marcos, influencing hundreds of students, many of whom can be seen on the stages around town today.

In 2014, both Levien and Holmes retired from full-time teaching to continue pursuing their respective acting careers.

“Over our many years working together, David and I witnessed the transformative, and at times even therapeutic, power that drama has for students,” commented Levien. “I feel a deep commitment to providing this experience to kids of all socioeconomic backgrounds, which is why the benefit is so important to me.”

Benefit attendees will be asked to pay a $25 donation at the door, which includes refreshments and a raffle ticket for various prizes, including signed copies of several of the authors’ works.

Those who would like to donate separately to the program can also do so through the YWC 2016 GoFundMe campaign.

During the summer Playwriting Workshop, Levien and Holmes will lead up to 25 incoming 10-12 grade students through a three-week writing process in which every student will compose their own short play, participating in strategic theater games and writing exercises to hone their craft.

The Workshop will run Monday through Thursday July 11-28 from 1-4 p.m. at UCSB. An early bird registration rate of $275 is available through April 30, after which the rate increases to $295.

Sibling discounts and scholarships are available. Applications can be downloaded at

Nicole Wald is the director of Young Writers Camp.

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