Cultivating Community in a Virtual Space | Lisa Nelson-Haynes | TEDxPhiladelphiaSalon
Can we create a community in a virtual space? Lisa Nelson-Haynes, Executive Director of Philadelphia Young Playwrights, explores the complexities of building communities during the stay-at-home orders and six feet of distance of the COVID-19 pandemic, while watching years of racial injustice hit a tipping point. Lisa walks us through her experiences in community building and identifies the steps needed to be a part of a community during this new normal. Believe it or not, it all starts with a YES.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
Our First Bilingual Blog Post for Our First Bilingual Workshops
Nuestro Primer Aporte de Blog Bilingüe Para Nuestros Primeros Talleres Bilingües
By: Sarah Stearns
Acabo de concluir una serie de talleres en la dramaturgia bilingüe con Mighty Writers El Futuro, un nuevo sitio bilingüe en el Italian Market. Traje actores profesionales a la fin-de-año celebración de Mighty Writers donde dieron vida a un grupo de monólogos locos, chiflados, y chistosos con compromiso admirable.
Mirar las caras de los estudiantes cuando se presentaban sus obras fue precioso. La mayoría de los estudiantes querrían compartir sus obras anónimamente, un deseo que no es raro para artistas jóvenes compartiendo sus obras públicamente por primera vez en nuestras programas. Habían muchas risitas nerviosas y sonrisas pequeñas de orgullo que mostraban la alegría que los estudiantes tenían en expresarse.
The It Gets Better Workshop
by Emma O’Neill-Deitel (Julia R. Masterman High School/10th Grade)
PYP Youth Council Member and previous 1st place winner of our Annual Playwriting Festival
Two weeks ago, I attended the It Gets Better workshop at the Kimmel Center, as a representative of PYP. The It Gets Better project is a multimedia campaign that exists to spread the word to LGBTQ youth that they are not alone, and that their situation will get better. It also promotes changes that can be made in communities to make sure that life does get better for LGBTQ people. The workshop I attended was part of a series of workshops all over the country led by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, in which members of the chorus facilitate a discussion and video-making workshop to promote the It Gets Better message. The other students in the workshop were from the Attic Youth Center, an organization for Philadelphia’s LGBTQ teens and their allies.
We began the workshop by introducing ourselves and our organizations. I was very proud to represent PYP and it was interesting to hear about the Gay Men’s Chorus of LA and the Attic Youth Center, neither of which I had been familiar with prior to the workshop. After the introductions, we broke into small groups and talked about what message we would like to convey to other LGBTQ teens. We then shared what we had discussed and made an outline for what we wanted to include in the video. After we had come up with a general idea, we wrote individual statements, which we filmed. We also wrote and filmed segments that we performed as a group. The experience of creating such a spontaneous piece (we did all this in just two hours!) reminded me of a similar process we often follow in PYP workshops, which has taught me that on-the-spot performances are some of the best.
Re-Vision Week 1 Re-Flections
By David Bradley, Director, and the Re-Vision Ensemble
“We are making…a beginning.” That’s how one of the teenage artists in PYP’s two-week Re-Vision lab put it when asked to describe what we are making in these weeks. It was a great encapsulation of process. Re-Vision, which brings together teens from across the region with professional artists, launches a year-long process of making a play for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. The play we make, currently titled Work/Shop/Shift will be a featured presentation at the Innovation Studio at the Kimmel Center in April 2015.
So, we’re making a play. But we’re just at the beginning. We’re making an ensemble of teen artists, university artists and professional artists, but we’re just at the beginning of that. And we’re making discoveries of how this might all work—perhaps the most important beginning of all. Our theme—how do we make things, why do we make what we make, how do we use the resources at hand, how do we repurpose materials, ideas, ourselves. To investigate, we’ve begun experimenting with writing and movement. We’re visiting very different Philadelphia hubs of making—Greensgrow Farm, a factory site turned urban farm in Fishtown; Indy Hall, a co-working space filled with makers of many things in Old City; the ExCITe Center, a lab for innovation in technology and design at Drexel. We’ve made drums from Home Depot buckets and machines from our bodies. We’re inviting friends and families to come play with us this Thursday and move the beginning forward.