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June 28, 2018

Laine Satterfield has announced that, following this year’s 29thannual New Voices for the Theaterprogram, she will complete her tenure as Program Director to focus on her expanding role as Director of Education for Cadence Theater Company.

Laine first became involved in New Voices’leadership in 2008 as Program Manager. Following two highly successful years in this role alongside Program Director Raina Aimes, Laine became program director for the 2009-2010 year and has continued in this role since.

Under Laine’s leadership, New Voices for the Theaterhas grown significantly and become even more beloved in the Richmond region and throughout the Virginia’s educational settings. Over 160 plays are now submitted annually by Virginia high school students, thanks to Laine’s advocacy and efforts in reaching high school teachers. In 2012, SPARC published a guide to teaching playwrighting written by past New VoicesPlaywright-In-Residence EM Lewis, in order to facilitate access to the program by high school students throughout the Commonwealth.

Laine established a partnership with VCU’s Department of Theatre which facilitated the annual Festival of New Works taking place on VCU’s campus, enhancing the playwrights’ experience in having their plays performed as staged readings. In 2018, New VoicesFestival of New Works is moving to an even larger space at VCU – the Raymond Hodges Theatre at VCU’s W.E. Singleton Center – to accommodate an ever-growing audience for the two-night festival.

Hundreds of alumni playwrights, professional playwrights-in-residence, actors, directors, and patrons owe a debt of gratitude to Laine Satterfield for her leadership of this vital, transformative program. While we are excited to see the growth in Cadence Theatre Company’s educational programs that will come as a result, she leaves a legacy of passion and leadership that will be difficult to match for her successor.

Program Manager Andrew Ballard will continue in his role, as will Program Assistant and Resident Advisor Lily Hargis – both are alumni of the New Voicesprogram. After the completion of this year’s program on July 13-14, SPARC will begin accepting applications for the Program Director role to begin work in August/September 2018.

About New Voices for the Theater

New Voices for the Theateris the nationally acclaimed statewide high school playwriting competition for Virginia students in grades 9-12 that celebrates and cultivates young writing talent from across Virginia. Winning playwrights are invited to attend a two-week residency in Richmond, VA. This program provides a life-changing opportunity for high school writers to work with professional playwrights, actors, and other theatre artists.

The residency is an intensive workshop experience geared towards enhancing and developing the writing talents of the chosen playwrights. The program requires attention to detail, a willingness to work hard, and a commitment to daily homework writing and reading assignments. Students are guided by a nationally recognized playwright-in-residence and other theatre professionals. They spend the two weeks taking classes and revising their winning play as well as taking trips to theater productions, museums, and other activities of interest.


SPARC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1981 and is one of the nation’s most comprehensive, community-based youth performing arts education organizations. SPARC provides an atmosphere where creative expression flourishes, meaningful connections are built, and individuality is celebrated. In its 37 years, SPARC has engaged over 15,000 children, ages 3 to 18, in a variety of award-winning community and school-based arts programs encompassing music, dance, acting, and theatre production for beginners to advanced students.