|Trinidad Playwriting and
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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| Promising Playwright
"I'm dedicated to what I do," Maurice
Olden says. "I want to be an actor. I like
changing into different
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."
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