The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane ran Jan 16- Feb 8, 2015 at Interact Theatre Company
By Kai Burton
Student Playwright at Science Leadership Academy
This is the second time I have had the opportunity to write a play with the help of Philly Young Playwrights, and I find myself running into the same problem. The challenge that I face is that I keep adding in characters that represent small roles in my story, and that I don’t really need. After seeing The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane I got a better idea of how to portray the roles of my smaller characters without putting physical bodies on stage. “The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane” was a deep story about a topic that, unfortunately, still impacts a lot of people today, corrective rape. The setting of the play was mostly in South Africa during the World Cup, meaning that there would be a lot of people around, a lot of noise, and a lot of celebration. Silverman was able to get all that across, using only six actors, which I thought to be the most amazing part of the play. Some of the most important people in the play we never seen, but shown through letters and phone calls.
By: Sarah Stearns
Young Playwrights Teaching Artist Apprentice
My fellow Teaching Artist Apprentice Jasmine and I have spent much of this past fall and winter learning how to be better teaching artists. In nineteen classrooms at eight middle schools, we’ve honed our skills, leading middle school students through the ins and outs of monologue writing in preparation for the Middle School Monologue Festival. At the festival in March, twelve winning monologues written by middle school playwrights will be performed by professional actors at Interact Theatre Company.
We’ve worked with groups as small as four students at Mighty Writers in South Philly and as big as forty at Holy Child Academy in Drexel Hill. We’ve worked with fifth graders through eighth graders. We’ve worked with groups where every single playwright wanted to share every word she had written; and in classrooms where the sentence “Anyone want to read for the class?” was met with downcast eyes and panicked whispering.