"Because I'm from the North Philadelphia area and I'm familiar with this population of students, I wanted to come in and try to be a vehicle of change for some of them," said Donovan Hagins. "I know that at certain ages, a lot of them don't know who they are," said Hagins about his students. "But if they can take a little bit of the experience that we bring to them to find something within themselves, that's my hope for them."
"Philadelphia Young Playwrights helps students find their voices" by Matteo Iadonisi
BROAD STREET REVIEW
"Actor Jenna Kuerzi... is happy to lend her voice, noting how powerless young people can feel in a world that seems out of control, even to many adults. 'Students are consistently underestimated. PYP is a way to get their thoughts, no matter how big or how small, out into the world. And they get to be spoken out loud by people who speak out loud for a living. Their words are given action, and that’s extremely empowering.'"
"This is our youth" by Cara Blouin
THE PHILADELPHIA CITIZEN
"When the student survivors of February’s horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, started eloquently and impactfully leading a nationwide conversation about guns in America, at least one person was not surprised: Lisa Nelson-Haynes, executive director of Philadelphia Young Playwrights. 'I see this kind of discussion all the time in our classrooms,' says Nelson-Haynes, who was dismayed by the idea that anyone would suspect these kids of being paid actors. 'Kids are ready, if given the platform.'"
"The Citizen Recommends: Mouthful" by Roxanne Patel Shepelavy
"On Tuesday, PYP kicks off the second season of Mouthful: The Podcast, a weekly series of 10 monologues (April 3-June 12) by PYP participants from Masterman, Central High, Barrack Hebrew Academy, Cheltenham High, and elsewhere... Podcast and Festival monologues were selected from more than 600 submissions."
"Theater Beat," April 3, 2018, by John Timpane
"Riddick wrote the piece a few weeks after a friend was killed in the crossfire of a North Philadelphia gunfight... Writing the monologue spurred Riddick to do more. Her friend — whom she did not want to name — was a fan of basketball, so Riddick organized a community basketball tournament between district police and city teens. She wanted to bridge the gap of distrust between local law enforcement and neighborhood kids."
"Teens take on big subjects during Philly's Mouthful Monologue Festival" by Peter Crimmins
PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS
"My perception is that young people are interested in telling stories about queer experiences of all kinds that are more nuanced than just ‘this person is gay or trans’ and that’s the most interesting thing about them... it’s incredibly inspiring and speaks to the advanced way that young people are thinking about sexuality and gender. It’s not reductive. It’s nuanced, it’s lived and it’s forward-thinking.”
"Young playwrights get personal at upcoming Monologue Festival" by A.D. Amorosi
THE PHILADELPHIA CITIZEN
"It’s not your normal podcast, I’ll say that much. It’s a far classier production than most of the stuff that’s out there, the kind of thing you’d normally pick up through an NPR or New Yorker affiliate."
"The monologues themselves run the gamut of drama—funny, heartfelt, bitter and rousing—about issues that speak to the heart of being a young American today."
"Getting a Mouthful" by Quinn O'Callaghan