New Theater Partnerships Enhance the Young Playwright Experience

Young Playwrights’ Theater has forged partnerships with local and regional theater companies and arts organizations to enhance the arts experience for our out-of-school time program participants and our New Play Festival playwrights. Currently, YPT has partnered with the National Theatre, The Welders and Forum Theatre.

With each partnership, YPT students are able to experience theater beyond the classroom through live performances and engagement with notable playwrights, actors and theater professionals.

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Dramaturge Linda Lombardi with YPT students

This initiative sprang in the summer of 2017 with The Welders and the National Theatre. The National Theatre invited YPT students to see the 20th Anniversary production of Rent: The Musical where they were able to speak with dramaturge Linda Lombardi who discussed the historical and cultural context of the time the play first premiered. Students were tasked with creating monologues for the characters that spoke the most to them.

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Alexandra Petri with YPT students

The Welders playwright Alexandra Petri invited YPT students to The Washington Post. Petri is an acclaimed columnist and blogger and her play, To Tell My Story: A Hamlet Fanfic, premiered this past July. The students toured The Washington Post headquarters and got to pick Petri’s brain on everything from playwriting to politics to Shakespeare and more. Student Advisory Council member Eva Sirotic said of her time with Petri:

“Her satirical writing is hilarious and reminds me a lot of my own style of writing, and I felt that a lot of the advice she gave really pushed to me to start thinking about my future as a writer, and maybe starting to take this playwriting passion seriously.”

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Deb Sivigny working with Young Playwrights’ Guild

This week, The Welders’ playwright Deb Sivigny visited the first meeting of the Young Playwrights’ Guild (formerly, the Student Advisory Council) and led a creative crafts activity that helped students develop dramatic characters. Sivigny’s play, Hello, My Name Is premieres next month and YPT students will be taking a trip to see the production.

This upcoming spring, YPT and Forum Theatre will also partner up for guest lectures and performances for the students.

We hope to continue expanding these partnerships and we’re so glad that our students get to see theatre first-hand and hands-on!

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