Rossland student wins prestigious playwright award

Sety Roshdibenam’s play ‘The Christmas Heist’ earns Young Playwrights Festival top honour

Sety Roshdibenam

Sety Roshdibenam

Rossland student Sety Roshdibenam is the proud winner of the Young Playwrights Festival, 2021.

Organized by Expect Exceptional Theatre Company (EETC) in Langley, the festival invited students in Grades 6-9 (as of September 2020) from across the province to submit their works for a chance to have their play workshopped and performed live on stage, and also win a cool $500 in cash.

Roshdibenam’s play is called “The Christmas Heist” and was a work she completed in drama class at her Rossland school.

“I’ve been writing ever since I was little, trying to type out half-developed stories about dogs and trees on the family desktop,” said Roshdibenam in a release. “My love for performance and entertainment began when I joined my elementary school’s choir, and later our cast for The Sound of Music – a classic!”

Assistant artistic director of the Arts Club Theatre and this year’s festival adjudicator, Stephen Drover, has been working with Setareh on the winning play over the past few weeks.

Katheryn Shaw, long-time Artistic Director of Studio 58, will lead a public reading and workshop of the play on Saturday, May 21.

Shaw was head of Studio 58 for more than 35 years before moving on in 2020. She focused on several initiatives to foster a more inclusive and diverse learning environment at Studio 58, including founding a student-led diversity committee.

Shaw will also include attendees as part of this grass-roots creative process as she guides Sety and actors through new play development. Workshop participants will play the various roles in the public reading at 4 p.m.

Sety says she is mesmerized by the creative process and is intent on pursuing her passions.

“Writing and theatre are both wonderfully expressive outlets for emotion to me, because it gives me the power to make a fleeting thought come alive as something others can enjoy,” said Roshdibenam. “That’s why I jumped at the chance to write a play for my drama class’s Christmas performance, and later, followed my teacher’s guidance to submit it to this contest.

“Theatre and storytelling are two of my biggest passions, so I hope to continue them throughout my life, whether as a career, ideally, or as treasured hobbies.”

The workshop goes May 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Langley Little Theatre. Go to for more information.

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