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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.