Announcing YPT’s 5-Line Playwriting Challenge

This winter, YPT is turning the tables and giving our supporters the chance to be playwrights!

YPT couldn’t ask for better supporters. Over the years, you’ve packed houses at performances, participated in our online contests, joined the conversation on Facebook, gotten 15 to give 15, and run an 8k for us, all helping us grow to serve almost 2,000 students throughout the DC region each year. But demand for YPT’s programs grows, we do not currently have the capacity to reach all the students on our waiting list. That’s where you come in.

Our students really want you to say yes to them … so they’re going to say yes to you.

We’ve seen how YPT has impacted our alums as they’ve gone on to study everything from theater to business to neuroscience, and we think everyone should get the opportunity to be a playwright. So here’s your chance!

Now through December 14th, donate $25 or more to YPT and send us an original 5-line play, and our students will perform YOUR play.

Here’s how it works:

1) Donate $25 or more to YPT here or mail your check, made out to Young Playwrights’ Theater, to 2437 15th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20009.

2) Write a 5-line play and email it to abeyrle@yptdc.org by 5pm on December 14, 2012.

3) YPT elementary school students will rehearse and perform your play in their classroom and YPT staff will film it.

4) On December 21, YPT will post all the plays on our YouTube channel.

5) Share your play with your family and friends and show your support for arts education and our students!

Your donation will help YPT say YES to new classrooms and shrink our waiting list, helping more students discover the power of their voices and stories through playwriting. And to thank you, YPT students will share YOUR story with the world.

Play Guidelines:

1) Your play must be no more than five lines.

2) Your play must have two characters.

3) You must use the phrase “say yes” somewhere within the play.

4) Plays will be performed by elementary school students, so age-appropriate language and subject material please!

5) Your play must be submitted to abeyrle@yptdc.org by December 14, accompanied by a donation of $25 or more to support YPT’s fall fundraising campaign.

Tips:  Use your favorite books, movies or even pop culture as inspiration (age-appropriate please). Include a conflict! Think outside the box! As we’ve seen from our students’ plays, even inanimate desk objects can become vivid characters. There are no wrong answers, and no idea is too crazy!

Help YPT make our holiday fundraising campaign our biggest ever, and show our students that anyone can be a playwright. Click below to make your donation and get started!

Need inspiration?  Here are some examples!

Inspired by The Book and the Restless by Aayanna Collier (featured in YPT’s 2012 New Play Festival and 2012 Express Tour)

The Book and the Restless: The Proposal

BENJAMIN: Annie, will you marry me?

ANNIE: Oh Benjamin! I really want to say yes … but before I do I need to tell you something … something that I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time …

BENJAMIN: What is it?  Are you in love with Manny? (Annie shakes head) A Geography Goon?  (Shakes headPerry?  (Shakes head) Then what? What could possibly stop us from living happily ever after in the fairy tale section?

ANNIE: I … I think I want to become a vegetarian.

BENJAMIN: (Faints)

The 5-Line Play: Can It Be Done?

NO: Say, Yes?

YES: What?

NO: Will you help me write this five-line play? I really want to help YPT serve more students and see my play on YouTube!

YES: No.

NO: HA! THE END!

Still stuck? We’re here to help! For updates, inspiration and playwriting tips be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter throughout December!

Thank you, as always, for your amazing support.  We can’t wait to read your plays!

Thankful

It’s that time of year again. Time for us all to reflect and give thanks for the things in our lives that make us, well, thankful.

In the spirit of the season, I want to take a moment to share some of the things YPT is thankful for this year.

We are thankful, first and foremost, for the bright, insightful, inspiring students who are the living, beating heart of our company. You are why we come to work each day. Your dreams are our mission.

We are thankful for our hard-working staff and the devoted and talented army of professional teaching artists, actors, directors, stage managers, and designers who work tirelessly throughout the year to give voice to the dreams and imaginations of our students.

We are thankful for our volunteers – our dedicated board of directors, our Community Ambassadors, and our network of program alumni. You are the community voice of YPT.

We are thankful for our community of supporters – the thousands of people who attend our free performances of student work each year, our very cool friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and the corporate and nonprofit partners, donors and funders who give so generously each year to make our programming possible.

We are very lucky to know so many creative, passionate and giving people.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
Without you, there would be no YPT.

 

Brigitte
Development Director

YPT Kicks Off Our Fifteenth Birthday Season

After working at Young Playwrights’ Theater for about two weeks, I attended the New Writer’s Now! Kick-Off Party last Tuesday evening – my first YPT event! As the new Development Assistant, I’ve jumped right into updating contacts in the database, putting together mailings and trying to learn the names of everyone and everything, from staff, to board members, to important programs. So it was a nice change of pace to attend the New Writers Now! Kick-Off and see a first-hand example of one of these projects, and even match a few faces to the names I’ve seen in our giant database.

The party was small and intimate, with everyone sitting around tables in the YPT studio space chatting and, in my case, meeting new people. The variety of attendees really represented all different parts of the YPT family. I met students, friends and family of students, local actors, staff and even board members and supporters. As we sat around snacking on treats (including our artistically arranged cracker and cheese plates) I was able to talk to some of the students that YPT works with, and I had a great conversation about social media and DC-area theater with a board member and a long-time supporter of YPT. At larger organizations, funders and board members can often seem inaccessible and intimidating to a new staff member, so it was great how friendly and approachable everyone at the Kick-Off Party was, and how enthusiastic they were about the new season. The event also included teaser scenes from a few upcoming YPT student works, and as someone who has never seen a YPT reading before, I was very impressed by the quality of the work. It’s events like these that help us get through the occasional long day of data entry or stuffing envelopes, and I’m eager to see the full plays in the coming months!

Overall, I think the New Writers Now! Kick-Off Party summed up my impression of YPT so far: a small company with a family-like feel, yet made up of a wide variety of people drawn together by their enthusiasm for the arts and their support for the unique work that YPT does. I’m amazed by the impressive number of students that we reach (especially considering our small core staff) and I’m beyond thrilled to have joined the YPT team. I’m looking forward to meeting more people and seeing some great new theater in the upcoming season!

Click here to see photos from the New Writers Now! Kick-Off Party.

Alison
Development Assistant