From: Elizabeth Andrews []
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 6:32 AM
To: Elizabeth Andrews
Subject: Wire April 2008 - Meet Gerson Blanco
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Express Tour Showcase
New Play Festival Photos
Gerson Blanco: Promising Playwright
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Issue: # 19 April 2008
Express Tour Showcase

Express Tour

Catch the tour!
YPT's Express Tour brings student plays to schools, community centers and hospitals across the Washington, DC area. 
Complete with costumes, sets, sound and music, our troupe of professional actors share the voice of a new generation with thousands of audience members each year.
Catch the tour at our Public Showcase:
7:30 PM
Monday, April 14th
At GALA Hispanic Theatre
3333 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010
Admission is FREE!
For more about the Express Tour, including a listing of plays, click here.
Photos from New Play Festival
New Play Festival 2008

The 2008 New Play Festival was a great success.  Theater J at the DCJCC was packed with students, parents, teachers and members of the DC artistic community who came to see the latest plays from YPT's In-School Playwriting Program.

Photographer Liz Lynch captured the event.  To see more pictures from the New Play Festival click here.
Promising Playwright

At fourteen, Gerson Blanco is a YPT veteran.  His first play, Renny vs. Javier was produced as part of New Writers Now! in 2007.  His latest work, The Black Sheep was just featured in the 2008 New Play Festival. 


"I thought the Festival would be like the first time," Gerson says, "like just a small place. But then, when I saw how big it was and all the people arrived I got kind of scared.  But then, when I got up on stage, I don't feel nothing. I was confident," Gerson says, smiling broadly.  He smiles too as he remembers the actors.  "That last guy! He was so funny. His face was so funny," Gerson grins, recalling Cesar Guadamuz's performance.


Gerson's parents had to work the night of the Festival but they're very proud of his work.  "Ellos bromean conmigo," he says moving easily between Spanish and English "they joke and say that since YPT paid me I have to start helping to pay the rent."  He adds that he did turn his $50 royalty over to his mother, "if I had it I'd spend it all at one time."


The next play he's conceived deals with gang violence.  It features a gang member who takes in a homeless boy and cares for him against the wishes of his crew. Gerson encounters gang members each day when he walks between his school and the bus stop.

He says, "I wear my black jacket and my black hat. I don't think. I don't look. I don't look in the eyes."


He's less guarded when talking about his creative endeavors. He makes steady eye contact and smiles as he says "Every night I think about how I can make a movie."   His grandmother has suggested that he write about his family's journey from El Salvador.  She is still in El Salvador and Gerson talks with her on the phone each Saturday.   It has been four years since they've seen each other and Gerson thinks about one day returning to El Salvador, seeing his grandmother and playing Trompo and Chibola. 


Here he plays on two soccer teams, one for his school, MacFarland Middle School and another league called El Sol de America.  He plays striker or midfield.  Next year he will attend Bell Multicultural High School, where he hopes to continue to work with YPT.


He advises other playwrights, "Try the best.  The only thing you need to worry about is the conflict, climax and resolution."  He adds, "That's why I'm the one that goes with YPT to present my play, because I was the only one in my class who put a conflict, climax and resolution."


Our Thanks
Leadership support of the Express tour is provided by the MARPAT Foundation.
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