From the dark world of assassins to the theatricals of a South Philadelphia Italian family and themes of homosexuality, the Philadelphia Young Playwrights production cover a range of dramatic plots.
The middle and high school students are part of an award winning program that takes their scripts and puts them to life with the help of Temple’s theater program. They will perform Thursday, Nov. 3 through Saturday, Nov. 5.
Young Playwrights’ Assistant Director of Education and Outreach, Dat Ngo said that Young Playwrights “partner professional artists, such as playwrights, directors, and also actors, with classroom teachers in a number of workshops in Philadelphia and even some suburbs.”
The Young Playwrights workshops are offered to all students in Philadelphia public schools, as well as the area’s private and parochial schools.
“We don’t target students with any particular interests or talents,” Ngo said. “We want to encompass everyone, even the challenged students who do not have the greatest writing skills, but have found their voice in plays.”
Last year’s winning student playwrights were announced in August. They were then notified by September so they could work with dramaturges to help them refine their scripts.
“The dramaturges show the Young Playwrights what it’s like to work with professionals,” said David Ingram, Temple’s producer of the Young Playwrights production. “They learn more about the craft of a playwright, and learn they have to do rewrites.”
Temple hosts the annual Young Playwrights workshop productions every year as part of its theater season. This year is no different. Five plays that won first place in Young Playwrights workshops will be produced at Temple’s Tomlinson Theater this weekend.
Death of a Legend is about the sinister world of hired assassins, written by Daniel Barefield of William Penn High School when he was a junior last year.
Holiday captures South Philadelphia’s Italian neighborhood and the elements of family through its portrayal of various holidays. It was written by Christina Perachio of Strath Haven Middle School, who is now a freshman at Temple. Both plays will be performed on Thursday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m.
Jealousy’s Not a Game depicts what happens to young teenagers when they get jealous of others. The play was written by a group of students at Harrison Middle School.
Good vs. Evil is a classic tale of superheroes against evil villains, but this time with a twist. It was written by Frances Hunter of the Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School as a freshman.
Snow is Falling portrays one family’s response to a young man’s gay lover, written by Gabe Bloomfield of Friends’ Central School as a freshman. These three plays will be performed on Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.
“It’s such a great experience,” said Temple senior Tiffany Barrett-Davis, an actor in Bloomfield’s Snow is Falling. “It’s great because it shows that there are young people excited in theater. We need new material and we need new audiences, so Philadelphia Young Playwrights helps to keep young people excited about the future of theater.”
Check out what local middle school and high school students are writing and co-producing with Temple’s theater program at Tomlinson Theater (13th and Norris streets). Tickets are free, but based on a first come, first serve basis.
Kaitlyn Dreyling can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.