The Paula Vogel Mentors Project was the first experience I’d had of its kind, working with people outside of my school (let alone professionals) to create a fully developed production of a play I had written. Looking back, a whopping 18 weeks later, I feel truly blessed to have been a part of it and I can only hope there will be similar opportunities in my future. From start to finish, the project presented me with joys and challenges like none I’d had before. I was exposed to parts of the theatre world I hadn’t known existed and to a part of myself as a writer I hadn’t known existed. I was writing at an unprecedented pace and with a renewed passion. And I think I owe it all to the people I was surrounded with, committed artists on the same wavelength as me. Not only were they dedicated to my own work, taking the time and energy to pore over it and bring it to life, they were also willing to teach me what they knew and guide me in navigating my craft in general. I’ve already caught myself reminiscing about our conversations and experiences together, centered around the things I cared about most and how they were expressed through art. The Paula Vogel Mentors Project showed me the corner of the world I want to live in—one where I can produce art that’s the best it can be, work capable of making a tangible difference. But that’s not even the best part—I get to see the work of others, too, and be the one affected by it, and become part of an inspiring cycle. I was already nostalgic as I edited the footage of this piece, finding it difficult to choose between clips of each moment from each of the two performances. I was again filled with the same feeling that rushed through me during rehearsal—that I’d taken part in creating something to be proud of, but it certainly wasn’t entirely mine. When the dry cleaning shop lived inside my head, when I sat on my bedroom floor and wrote furiously for hours on end, it belonged to me. But the second I printed my first draft and handed it to the members of my newfound community, it became a team effort. Nearly Famous couldn’t have been what it was without the Paula Vogel Mentors project, without the dedication and passion of the entire team behind it (at Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Found Theater Company, and Writers Theatre of New Jersey). And for that I’m forever grateful.
One our our fabulous Alumni (and former staff members), Genne Murphy, will have a play presented at Yale School of Drama this weekend! If you are in the area, we encourage you to check it out.
A tale of (gay) marriage and (queer) death
Written by GENNE MURPHY
Directed by RORY PELSUE
Iseman Theater (GRN)
1156 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06511
(Location is wheelchair accessible)Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 4PM
Friday, October 28, 2016 at 4PM & 8PM
Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 4PM
Penelope and Dex are a modern-day queer couple about to get married. Marie is the latest bride of a 17th-century French lord with extraordinary whiskers and a bad habit of murdering his wives. These stories converge in Bluebeard's Wife, a play that explores love, death, gay assimilation, and dark truths behind locked doors.
Check out Issue 1.1 of our Newsletter "Re-Play" - our new quarterly newsletter to keep you updated on all the happenings at PYP. We are also thrilled that the newsletter will always feature student writing. Check it out!
This Fall 2016 issue highlights our new Executive Director, Lisa Nelson-Haynes, the activities at PYP during the summer of 2016, and features the play "If Only" by Alise Mackey, a 2016 First Place Winning Play from the Annual Playwriting Festival.
Alise's play will be performed on Saturday January 21st at 2pm as part of our Saturday Reading Series.
2016 Pride Youth Theater Alliance Conference
By: Tom Medina-Castrejón
I was not planning on going to the conference, because I’d never gone on any trip without my family before. But I’m so glad my mom pushed me anyway. After arriving at the Philadelphia airport, being patted down, and texting my mom a hundred times, I finally boarded the plane, with MR and MJ, the facilitators of Philadelphia Young Playwrights’ Queer Theater Workshop. From the moment I had woken up that day, I knew I was going on an adventure. When we landed in Memphis, Tennessee, my legs were all wobbly. Partly because I’d been in the sky for two hours, but partly also because we were so close. Who were these people going to be? Would I fit in?
BY: SHAVON NORRIS
PHILADELPHIA YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS
2016 THE BUTTERFLY PROJECT
On May 28th and June 4th I had the pleasure of facilitating workshops for Philadelphia Young Playwrights. As an educator and an artist, I share the everyday and the extraordinary aspects of moving and movement. I was asked to help the participants in this project explore the ways movement and moving could deepen the development of their characters and plays. After talking with Janine Merolla about the project and the participants needs, I proposed a workshop lesson that would explore the body as resource to story and character and environment. The project participants would investigate time, shape, size, space and relationship, to create and establish meaning.
As a movement educator, I have taught a wide range of bodies and movement capabilities. Using the body as a source of information and creative expression delights some and scares most. The butterfly project participants were collectively willing to be bold and lean into their discomfort to explore something new. The participants collectively inspired me with their willingness to see themselves, each other and their characters in new ways.
By: Charmira Nelson Pilgrim
Alumni Council Member
Former Youth Council Member
LEAP program 2016 was really a life changing experience. I got to connect with people from all over the world, and they all were wise, mature and diligent just like me. I was able to relate to so many of my peers, and so grateful for connecting and networking with them. The program taught me valuable skills on how to “nail a job,” to how to be successful in my career choice. I have so much information for this program that`s really given me the potential to be a top candidate in whatever career field I decide to focus on in my life. Words really can`t explain all of the energy, motivation and successful people I met through this conference. I was fortunate to participate in the talent show, doing a poem and placed second. I am so happy and blessed that I was recognized as a “10” and an “Eagle” for a week and the rest of my life. Thank you Philly Young Playwrights for offering me this scholarship. This summer turned out to be the best summer of my life. Now watch me fly into GREATNESS!
Young artists, entrepreneurs, and activists are coming together in one of the only spaces where young people who care about the political state of our nation to create ACTION plans on how to make social change at the Democratic National Convention. Youth from all over Philadelphia as well as their adult allies will discuss these issues with national/ local figures and legislatures :
Philadelphia Young Playwrights is thrilled to be presenting monologues at each of the Assemblies. Stop by one or all!
@ Asian Arts - 1219 Vine Street
Hosted by: Urban Creators
Young Playwrights Young Professionals council hosted a Happy Hour at the PHS Pop Up Garden at the Viaduct Rail Park on July 14th. It was a wonderful evening filled with great people! Were you there? Find yourself in the photos!
Stay tuned, similar events are planned for later this summer. We'll let you know when more details are available!
Adam Goldberg talks to the Jewish Exponent about the success of "The Goldbergs".
Can you find his shout out to Young Playwrights?
Young Playwrights Alumna Caitlin Cieri recently produced a radio play! Caitlin recently received her MA in Playwriting from the University of Essex.
She talks a little bit below about working in this art form. Be sure to check out her play "When the Breeze Blows Between the Two Hills" and more on her website.
By: Caitlin Cieri
I wrote "When the Breeze Blows Between the Two Hills" as a birthday present for mom. It has everything she loves: kids, fairies, nature, and fart jokes.
I just recently read an article about podcasts saying fictional podcasts were so hard to find because nobody wants to spend all their time searching for and rehearsing with actors. But I have studied radio drama, and it actually takes less time than working on stage or for television. I was lucky enough to be friends with Julisa Basak (Duckie the Fairy), who's been doing voice acting for years, and my mom has a great voice for narrating fairy tales; she had a lot of practice teaching at the West Hill School. I found Rebecca Stern (Rose), on Theatre Philadelphia's website, she recorded her lines in one night and sent them to me, and I was able to splice them in just fine. As for the sound effects, I mostly take them from freesound.org (God bless the Creative Commons 0 License) but I did need to get creative for the scene with the wolves. I couldn't find sounds of wolves eating so I had to use dogs.