UNT student Jacob Sampson wins international playwriting contest

Jacob Sampson (Photo by Ahna Hubnik)Senior media arts major Jacob Sampson aspires to be a TV comedy writer.

His career is on the right track. His play The Essay won the prestigious Václav Havel Library Foundation Award and DAMU Contest for the U.S. Students of Drama and Performance Studies. The play had to fit a theme inspired by the works of Havel, a well-known playwright and former president of the Czech Republic. In Sampson's play, the protagonist is a student at an American boarding school that has hired a new headmaster who requires the use of the invented language PTYDEPE -- similar to the theme of Havel's play The Memorandum.

Sampson will travel to the Czech Republic in November for a two-week residency in which the play will be read by the theatre faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU) in Prague. He will be there during one of the country's biggest holidays.

"I'm starting to become very aware of how cool this prize is," he says.