Non-profit theater celebrating young playwrights in new book - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Non-profit DC-based theater celebrating young playwrights in new book

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Danny Gavigan and Farah Lawall are portraying children. They are both professional actors. But the play they are rehearsing was written by an eighth grader. It is part of a program called Young Playwrights' Theater.

Once a week, they take over a student's English or drama class. They will reach 1,700 kids this year. Children of all ages write their own plays through YPT.

"It was cool because it wasn't really about the grade," says Cassidy Boomsma. "It was more about having creativity and having fun."

She wrote "Love, Math and Martians Don't Mix" when she was in eighth grade. She is now in high school.

Young Playwrights' Theater was founded in Columbia Heights 17 years ago. They are now in schools in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. In fact, they have ended up with so many plays that they have decided to publish a book.

"It's not everyday that you get to say that you have your play in a book and you don't know who across the country is going to pick up the book and read it," says Boomsma.

Brigitte Pribnow Moore says there might be a lot of people reading "Write to Dream." She is YPT's executive director and says they have been getting a lot of requests from schools around the country who want to replicate the program.

"And so within this book, we're including not only plays, but also sample curricula that a classroom teacher can actually take and implement in the classroom that a student could use to write their own play at home," says Pribnow Moore. "So we're hoping to inspire young people around the country to write."

She says they are not necessarily interested in training kids to be professional playwrights. What they want is to create the next generation of great thinkers.


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