Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Free young playwrights' festival at Gala Theatre this week! Go support young local writers!

This week from Monday to Wednesday, the Young Playwrights' Theater is holding a New Play Festival, showing 15 plays written by DC-area students from 8 to 18. It sounds like a great event, and it's all free! Sounds like fun for folks who support the arts, or just a fun event for families. Here's more info below:

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WASHINGTON, DC – From April 28-30, 2014, at GALA Hispanic Theatre (3333 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20010), Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT) will hold its annual New Play Festival, debuting fifteen new plays written by Greater Washington students ages 8 to 18 over three nights of free performances.

The only professional theater in Washington, DC dedicated entirely to arts education, YPT performs student work on local stages throughout the year. The New Play Festival is the organization’s largest performance by far, bringing together over thirty professional theater artists to realize these student plays on stage. This year, the fifteen Featured Plays come from a pool of 900, the largest in the history of the New Play Festival.

“The New Play Festival is like Christmas at YPT,” says YPT Artistic Director Nicole Jost. “Our playwrights are so imaginative, and their plays are so much fun, that the hardest part is deciding which ones to perform!”

To accommodate so much terrific student work, YPT expanded the Festival from two nights to three this year, and will stage five different plays every night. Night One (April 28) will feature YPT’s elementary school plays, including the tale of a superhero dog, a magical stuffed cat and a potion that can save endangered hawks. Night Two (April 29) will present plays by YPT middle schoolers, covering such topics as fathers and sons, best friends and, of course, demon librarians. Finally, Night Three of the Festival (April 30) will bring high school plays to the GALA Theatre stage, replete with prom nights, family drama and murder mysteries.

Each of the 2014 New Play Festival Featured Playwrights worked with a professional dramaturge to refine his or her script, and will meet with the play’s cast and director to give notes during the rehearsal process. Each playwright will also introduce his or her play during the performance, giving these talented young people a chance to be acknowledged by the community. Finally, YPT will publish a book of New Play Festival plays – including the 21 Finalists not being produced in this show – and distribute them for free to the playwrights and their families.

“The New Play Festival is a celebration of the talent and creativity of students throughout the DC area,” says Brigitte Moore, Executive Director of YPT. “YPT believes in the importance of arts education as a catalyst for positive change in a student’s life. We are excited to present these fifteen plays and to show young people that by expressing themselves through writing, their voices have the power to captivate, delight and inspire.”

Young Playwrights’ Theater’s New Play Festival runs April 28-30 at 7pm, with a pre-show reception at 6:30. The event is free and open to the public. Visitwww.yptdc.org or call (202) 387-9173 for more information.

Young Playwrights’ Theater teaches students to express themselves clearly and creatively through the art of playwriting. Through interactive in-school and after-school programs, YPT activates student learning and inspires students to understand the power of language and realize their potential as both individuals and artists. By publicly presenting and discussing student-written work, YPT promotes community dialogue and respect for young artists. More information can be found at www.yptdc.org.

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