Young Playwrights' Theater to Present Student Plays on 2/11
On February 11, 2014, at 7pm, at Theater J (1529 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036), Young Playwrights' Theater (YPT) will premiere New Writers Now! - Truth and Dare, a free reading of four new plays created by DC-area students.
New Writers Now! is YPT's biannual staged reading series, featuring professional actors performing plays written by students from around Greater Washington. YPT's first event of 2014, Truth and Dare will introduce audiences to quirky Southerners and transgender teens, an ailing dog and a fourteen year-old assassin: bold and powerful characters that challenge stereotypes while grappling with issues of grief and identity.
"I was ecstatic to find out that my play was chosen for New Writers' Now," says student playwright Dorothée Mulumba. "When I wrote the play I didn't really have an idea for what I wanted it to be. All I knew was that I wanted something people see and be able to laugh at, but also relate to."
The featured plays were all written during YPT's In-School Playwriting Program, which integrates the art of playwriting into the classroom in order to enhance student literacy, creative expression and communication. Serving over 1,800 elementary, middle and high school students annually, the program allows students to explore every phase of the playwriting process with professional actors, directors and teaching artists in the classroom. Over twelve weeks, participating students learn the importance of language structure, grammar, spelling and word choice as a means of clearly communicating their own thoughts, lives and imaginations to the world around them. The four plays debuting in Truth and Dare were written by students at Wakefield High School, Swanson Middle School, Bell Multicultural High School and Walker Jones Educational Campus.
This is the first time in years that YPT has held a performance at Theater J, a theater widely renowned for being one of the nation's premier playwrights' theaters. Embracing a "theater without walls" philosophy this season, YPT is seeking to reach new venues and help its young writers discover the value of sharing their work with new audiences across DC, and recognize that the community at large is invested in their stories.
The event will begin with an hors d'oeuvres reception at 6:30, and conclude with a community discussion with the playwrights.
"We are delighted to be able to honor these gifted playwrights with this performance and to partner with Theatre J in presenting our students' work," says Executive Director Brigitte Pribnow Moore. "Not to mention that New Writers Now! makes a great early Valentine's Day date!"
Young Playwrights' Theater teaches students to express themselves clearly and creatively through the art of playwriting. Through interactive in-school and after-school programs, YPT activates student learning and inspires students to understand the power of language and realize their potential as both individuals and artists. By publicly presenting and discussing student-written work, YPT promotes community dialogue and respect for young artists. More information can be found at www.yptdc.org.