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Ben Kelly, Playwright of “Trevor”

February 18, 2011

Ben Kelly first won the California Young Playwrights Contest when he was 12, and received a staged reading of his play Idaho Lament.  Now he’s got a new script, Trevor, that won the 2010 contest and will be presented as a full production at the Lyceum Theatre April 1-10, 2011 in our Plays by Young Writers festival.


How did you first become involved with writing?

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to write. I grew up telling people that I would become a screenwriter. Today that goal is still out there, but I’m trying to experiment with other types of writing: fiction or nonfiction, prose or poetry.

What themes are involved in your piece?

I suppose my play takes a rather absurd look at childhood and adolescence. It’s about growing up, sort of.

Do you identify with a particular character?

I wish I could say that I am as ambitious as Trevor, but I know that isn’t true. I talk to myself like he does, and at times, I’m too much of smart aleck for my own good, in the same way that he is. I don’t know if I was that much like him when I was 13, but perhaps he’s the kind of kid that I wish I had been.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?

Mostly, I want them to laugh. I want them to enjoy my characters, and, if they must, care about them. I hope that Trevor reminds them of their own early adolescence and the odd sort of fears that went along with it.

Do you plan to continue writing?

I love writing, and, looking back, it seems I always have. I hope that whatever I end up doing in life, it will involve an open Word document staring back at me, untitled and unfinished.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

For a long time, I have wanted to be a screenwriter. More recently, though, I have started to stretch out and try writing a bunch of different things. I might still become a screenwriter, but I can now see myself writing other types of fiction as well.


Trevor will be performed Saturday April 2 at 7:30 PM, Friday April 8 at 7:30 PM, and Saturday April 9 at 2:00 PM at the Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza.  Tickets are $12-$50; more information at

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2011 2:22 PM

    Pat Launer wrote an article on Ben in Carlsbad Patch–check it out here:

  2. February 18, 2011 1:53 PM

    Ben was also featured in an article in the North County Times. Check it out here:

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