From: Young Playwrights' Theater [info@yptdc.org]
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 11:10 AM
To: Elizabeth Andrews
Subject: YPT Wire August 2008 - Meet Maurice Olden
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Trinidad Playwriting and Choreography Camp
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Maurice Olden: Promising Playwright
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Issue: # 23 August 2008
Trinidad Playwriting and Choreography
YPT Citydance Campers 
This summer YPT teamed with CityDance to provide an innovative playwriting and choreography camp at the Trinidad Recreation Center.
 
The summer camp was highlighted in a recent piece on WAMU's Metro Connection, "Searching for Solutions in Trinidad." 
 
Students in the Trinidad community, who have recently experienced a series of violent acts, were encouraged to write about the places within their neighborhood where they feel safe.
 
On Friday, August 1st, students gathered to share their creations with the community.  Twelve girls ages 7-12 demonstrated the dances they had created and read from their original play.
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Maurice Olden
Maurice Promising Playwright 
 
"I'm dedicated to what I do," Maurice Olden says.  "I want to be an actor. I like changing into different characters."
 
Maurice got his start six years ago with Young Playwrights' Theater.  As a 4th grader, Maurice helped to create and perform Hip Hop Pinocchio working with YPT after school.  He remembers fondly their performances at such diverse venues as grocery store grand openings and the Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage.  "I liked reading my own lines in front of a crowd," Maurice says.
 
In 2005, Karen Evans, YPT's former Managing Director, tapped Maurice to perform in a reading of her play Picking Up the Pieces at the Studio Theater. As he recalls the events of that play, he becomes the character. He refers to the character's journey as if it were his own, "I was Randy, a boy whose mother left before hurricane Katrina came, and a prisoner who had watched from his jail cell rescued me."
 
In real life Maurice lives in Columbia Heights with his mother and two sisters. He attended Cardozo High School last year and will transfer into Duke Ellington School for the Arts this Fall as he enters 10th grade.  He would like to attend NYU for college and is determined to become a full time actor. He says that even his mother can tell, "I'm not like other people."
 
He advises other students who are interested in performance, "Relax, buddy. It's okay to make mistakes. Just take a deep breath and watch the people who go before you. Learn from your mistakes." 
 
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