“A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the rules and rewrite all existence.”
– Cobb (from Inception)
This past weekend I took a break from writing grant proposals for YPT and saw Inception, the imaginative new Christopher Nolan film that’s bringing in the box office big bucks this month. I left the film inspired (I loved it) and, believe it or not, thinking of YPT.
In Inception (I promise I’m not giving anything away), a crack team of dream “extractors”, lucid dreamers who infiltrate people’s minds and coerce them into revealing their deepest secrets, work together to tackle the risky, untested challenge of “inception” – implanting an idea in the subconscious mind of a dreamer. The film is smart, visually stunning, and contains a mind-blowing fight scene that takes place in a hallway (if you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about).
So why on earth would this sci-fi thriller make me think of YPT?
Inception is a story about a perfect team – each team member contributes something unique and necessary to the mission of the group. They give it all they’ve got. They trust one another.
As YPT expands this year to serve more students than ever before (1,000!), I cannot help reflecting on how lucky I am to work with such a perfect team.
Each YPT staff member, board member, teaching artist, actor, director and designer plays a specific and invaluable role in achieving our daily mission to use playwriting to teach students the power and value of their own creative ideas – ideas that can move hearts and minds, ideas that may, indeed, change the world.
In fact, the imaginative idea behind the film Inception is the kind of innovation that I find so inspiring in the work of our students. Plays written by YPT students tackle challenging issues including gender roles, self-worth, power dynamics, immigration, drugs, and gangs; and explore such universal themes as family, relationships, heritage, and love. And YPT students take on these big ideas in such inventive and unexpected ways. Just this past year, YPT produced a dark, sci-fi play that imagines a future world in which women have been deemed obsolete and eliminated, a brilliant mafia play that challenges the very concept of theatrical form, and a fantastical comedy about an arrogant knight and a dragon that wants nothing more than to be left alone.
In the next few weeks, YPT will announce our 2010-2011 Season, and (I promise) you will not be disappointed by what our students have in store for you.
Stay tuned. It’s going to be an amazing year.