Letters from the Audience: New Writers Now!-Outside In

After the October 4New Writers Now! – Outside In staged reading, the audience got a chance to put in their two cents. We asked them to write a letter to a character in one of the plays, invited them to share the letters out loud, then gave those letters to the playwrights. We heard funny, witty, and adorable letters read aloud. Here is a sample…..feel free to respond below with your own letters to Block Man, Moon Man, Timmy the Turtle, or other inspiring characters from YPT plays!

Dear Block Man,

Your courage in the face of harassment was inspiring. I’m a firm believer that no matter what your size you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to. You are a shining example of that. Thank you for reminding me to keep my head up and keep going because in the end it’ll all work out okay.

Dear Turtle,

I loved when you said that the gate was so shiny. It was great.

Dear Mr. Block Man,

I too have felt like an outsider many times in my life. Overcoming prejudices is something you should be proud of. Instead of lashing out or creating more anger in the world, you were able to create peace and help others during your time of need. More people should follow in your footsteps and bring love and joy to the world as opposed to hate.

All the best,

Jayme J

Dear Block Man,

I was most struck by your experience as an outsider—you represented such a simple form, a shape, that in its 4-sides represented so much inequality in the world we live in (not to sound overly dramatic—but its true).

Your daily experiences represented to me, not any specific forms of racism or prejudices but rather how people in the city tend to treat each other (in lesser extremes, or course).

Often, we don’t offer each other help, to catch the bus, buy a sandwich, find the right train- because we are too self-focused on our own days and tasks at hand. It would be great to remember that at times we all feel like blocks, and would do better to think outside the box (or block?) and help each other out.

Thank you,

Liz

Dear Steik,

I understand your hesitation in accepting the blockman into your neighborhood. His form is unfamiliar and strange and unlike your own, though, when you think about it, your love of a feline could also be said to be a bit strange. Four-legged, furry, and rough-tongued, she is also so unlike you in form and mind. But I hope that realizing the non-uniformity, the heterogeneous and often bizarre nature of love will lead you to the acceptance of your perfectly wonderful neighbor, Blockman.

My best,

Maggie

We received some amazing drawings as well!

We can’t wait to see you all at the next YPT performance!

Raina
Community Engagement Associate

The Need for Arts Education

by David Andrew Snider

Recently I talked with a board member from Theatre Communications Group (TCG), of which YPT is a member.   The TCG board was reaching out to all its members to find out what’s happening in our organizations and how TCG can better support us.  At the end of the conversation came the big question:  “Besides fundraising,” (which is assumed right now) “what’s your biggest challenge today?”  “Ensuring our relevance,” I said immediately.  “What do you mean?”

It’s a critical time for arts education and for live theatre in general.   While so many people spend more and more of their time in the virtual world, our work can be more important than ever.  To keep us connected, to keep us talking, to keep us alive to one another.  When push comes to shove and we’re talking about cuts to school budgets for books, to shelter, food and clothing providers, so many people today, even in nonprofits, will say “well, it’s not like the arts are a human service.”  To which I say, and said to the DC City Council last summer “The arts are a human service.  They are a human service.”  As much as we need to eat, sleep and clothe ourselves to be human, we need to express ourselves.  We need to be able to share with our neighbors and the rest of the world what’s bothering us, how others can help us and what we fear or dream of for our future.  When we cut off self-expression, when we deny the inherent need to communicate and be heard, we see the frustration and violence that results.  We see the school shootings, the fights in the hallway, the teen suicide.  We see how social media has again sparked in all of us the itch to be known, to see and be seen, to always be in touch.  So as we’re ensuring that critical needs are met in these challenging times, I think we need to consider not only what will get us through the night, through the next month or next couple of years, but also what we want to be, look like and represent when we get through it.  What kind of society do we want to have?  How do we know what people need if they can’t tell us?  And how can we envision our future if we’re not able to dream?