Revealing Creativity through Words


Check out this great post by young playwright Javier Reyes. Javier’s original play Internal Wounds will premiere on April 12, on the second day of the New Play Festival. Internal Wounds is a harrowing story of family and addiction. After the death of his father, Andrew turns to drugs to ease his pain. Can his mother pick up the pieces of her family? Can Andrew heal the pain he has caused? You can read more about Javier and his play on the YPT website.


I never really saw myself as a playwright. That’s until YPT showed up at my school.

YPT gave all of us the chance to reveal our creativity through our words. I decided to take my chances and my play was actually chosen! I wasn’t too excited but I was surprised my play was chosen. But at the read through I was excited to see and hear my characters brought alive. I really liked how the actors brought out my characters through themselves; they made it sound really awesome.

I’m really looking for the audience to be blown away by such a tragic story that I came up with. I can honestly say that YPT really helped me express myself through the creativity they showed me I had. I really look forward to my play being presented as well as others.

Thanks YPT! 😀

Javier Reyes
YPT Young Playwright

The Best Experience I Ever Had in School

Check out this beautiful letter to YPT from Saviya Brown. Saviya, a junior at Bell Multicultural High School, wrote the play Taken 4 Granted, which will premiere in the New Play Festival, on April 13, at 7:30pm, at GALA Hispanic Theatre (3333 14th Street NW).


Dear YPT Reading Committee and YPT staff:

I would love to thank the YPT Reading Committee and staff for their support and encouragement as I wrote my play. I would especially like to give my thanks to Patrick Torres for giving me the advice that I can do it. Without him I think I would not have done or finished the play. Working with YPT was the best experience I ever had in school. I say that because they gave me a chance to actually open up and experience better ways of writing. YPT is better than English classes, from my point of view, because you have people to sit side by side with you and help you without being rushed. They also give you extended time if you need to work on something. This is something that I will really remember as the best thing from all my years of high school.

I would also like to share that I am now writing a book. I wrote one last summer but it disappeared somehow, so I am currently writing one called Twisted. I have also invited people to help me write it [by contributing ideas] from their life experience, so hopefully it will come out well. The people who are featured are Tomas Rodriguez and Harold Dawson, and I would love to thank them also.

I would really love to thank YPT again. Thanks for being supportive and honest about our plays in all of your ways.


Saviya Brown
YPT Young Playwright

Young Playwright Mariana Pavón Sánchez Speaks at National Award Ceremony with Michelle Obama

On October 20, 2010, YPT received a very special fifteenth birthday present. We won the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the highest honor in the nation for a program like ours. YPT Producing Artistic Director and CEO David Snider, and YPT playwright Mariana Pavón Sánchez spent the afternoon at the White House participating in a private ceremony presented by First Lady Michelle Obama.

YPT was one of only 15 winners selected for this honor, from a national pool of more than 400 nominations. Mariana  was the only youth participant chosen to speak at the award ceremony.

You can watch the entire award ceremony (including Mariana’s speech) here, and you can read Mariana’s speech below:

“Hello, my name is Mariana Pavón Sánchez, and I am an 11th grade student with Young Playwrights’ Theater, or YPT. Just over a year ago I began studying with YPT, as part of my English as a second language class. YPT helped me know that I can express myself through writing – and that what I have to say matters. I wasn’t sure I could do it at first, but then I realized I could write a play about my own life, so I wrote a play called Mariana’s Wish, about my mother and how much I miss her. The YPT teaching artists helped me find my inspiration, shape my ideas on the page and revise my play until it was exactly what I wanted to say.

I was so excited when my play was chosen to be produced in YPT’s citywide New Play Festival. Seeing my play performed by professional actors was an amazing experience – but seeing and hearing the audience’s reaction to my story was even better. They laughed and cried – and I realized the power of my words. My advice to other students: don’t be afraid to express yourself through writing, even if it is something small. It’s important.

I was a very shy student, afraid to speak out. And here I am addressing the First Lady of the United States – and it’s all thanks to Young Playwrights’ Theater, to the arts and the humanities and to the power of my own ideas.

Now I would like to read you the beginning of my play, Mariana’s Wish. It is about my missing my mother in another country, and my father who won’t let me go to see her. I start the play from my point of view, angry because I don’t understand why he won’t let me go. But then I also wrote from his point of view –he is just worried about me. At the end of play we understand each other, and he lets me go. This is the beginning:

‘I came to this country last year. First I wanted to come to learn English. Mi Mami didn’t come with me because her visa expired in 2007, and she and my grandfather are both sick, so she can’t travel. Now I want to go back to Nicaragua to visit, because I miss mi Mami. I miss talking to her every night. I want to taste her vaho that she cooks really well. We used to go outside to El Mirador de Catarina, where we spent hours walking and talking. We talked about boys. She also gave me advice about how I have to act with them. Another thing that I miss is when we talked about what I want to do for my future. I want to do those things with mi Mami again. I want to spend Christmas with mi Mami, mi hermano, mi familia and mis amigos; they are the most important people in my life. I’ve asked my Dad three times before if I can go to Nicaragua but he doesn’t really take me seriously. So this morning before he leaves for work, I’ll talk to him and he’ll have to listen to me.’

Thank you so much!”

You can read more about YPT’s National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award here.

Mariana Pavón Sánchez
Young Playwright