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Suburban Phoenix boy’s play wins national contest

PHOENIX — A Valley seventh-grader’s clever anti-bullying message, wrapped in a contest-winning play, has earned him and his family a trip to the nation’s capital.

Michael Ford, who attends Basis Charter in Chandler, won the Young Playwrights for Change nationwide contest with “Nerdy Nate and the Anti-Bullying Quest.” He will watch his play unfold May 16 in a staged reading in Washington during a One Theatre World session hosted by the Kennedy Center.

The event is part of the New Visions/New Voices festival. Ford’s play had won Tempe-based Childsplay and Rising Youth Theatre’s local contest and was entered into nationals, along with 19 other regional winners’ work.