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by: Jesse Bernstein
PYP Resident Teaching Artist
Sometimes, I'm still surprised when Theatre does what it's actually supposed to do.
On Thursday, May 11th, we had the first rehearsal for the monologues that are being presented in partnership between PYP and the Arden Drama School for the city's 2017 Youth Theatre Festival. Our part of the evening is comprised of five monologues written by high school students and performed by Arden Teen Drama School students. The rehearsal was attended by playwrights, performers and myself as director.
Things, to my mind, didn't start off great. That's because, as actors and playwrights were trickled in, the teenagers already there and sitting around a table together were all on their phones. I sighed internally. I wanted these kids to engage with one another, not their tiny technology! That's what theatre's all about: cultivating listening and empathy -- not just in the audience, but in the artists as well. It's a place for human interaction.
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.
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.