EB Tech Student One of Top Young NJ Playwrights


EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - A student at the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools East Brunswick Campus was a winner in the 34th annual New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival.

Michael Villanueva of Woodbridge, a senior in the School of the Arts on the MCVTS, was one of five winners in the high school category, chosen by a panel of professionals from more than 450 entries.

It marks the second consecutive year that an MCVTS student has won.

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Michael’s one-act play, “Packing,” focuses on two young friends, one African American and one Latino, as one moves to a predominantly white neighborhood.

“He is determined, very creative and incredibly ambitious,” said Maria Aladren, director of the theater program in the MCVTS School of the Arts.

Winners in the Young Playwrights Festival receive the Governor’s Award, a one-year membership in the Dramatists Guild, the professional playwrights’ union, and will have their plays staged by a professional director with professional actors in June. Michael’s play will be presented by Luna Stage, an Actors’ Equity theater company in West Orange.

Michael is deciding on a college to attend and plans to focus on writing and directing.

Last year, “Visible” by MCVTS student Jessica Dell Beni was a winner in the Young Playwrights Festival competition.


The MCVTS School of the Arts, on the East Brunswick Campus, offers career majors in theater, dance, digital filmmaking, graphic design/commercial art and illustration, and multimedia art and design.


More information on the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools is available at Like us on Facebook – there’s a link on the home page.

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