From: Elizabeth Andrews [eandrews@yptdc.org]
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 11:11 AM
To: Elizabeth Andrews
Subject: YPT Wire June 2008 - Meet Julius Johnson
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In This Issue
Patrick Torres Wins Leadership Award
Julius Johnson: Promising Playwright
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Issue: # 21 June 2008
Patrick Torres Wins Leadership Award!
Patrick and studentProgram Manager Patrick Torres is attending the National Performing Arts Convention (NPAC)/TCG National Conference in Denver, Colorado as one of twenty Young Leaders of Color. 

Thousands of artists from multiple disciplines will be meeting to harness the collective energy and expertise of the entire nonprofit performing arts sector. This year's theme is "Taking Action Together." 

The Young Leaders of Color Award is made possible by TCG and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.  It covers Patrick's airfare, board and registration.
 
David Snider, who nominated Patrick for the award says "Patrick leads a new generation of young artists to realize their potential as playwrights.  He is widely known and well-respected throughout the community, as a strong educator and director who cares deeply for students and the broader theatre community and whose work is as deeply felt in the classroom as it is onstage.  Everyone loves to work with Patrick and he is helping to discover what theatre will become in the 21st Century."
 
Patrick arrived on Tuesday and served on a panel with other Young Leaders of Color.  Although he was tired from the altitude and jet lag he was bolstered by the other artists in the room. He reports, "A woman shared a quote from a play she had recently seen: 'These stories are not free. They cost me. Everything.'  This reminds me that what we ask students to do is sophisticated and vulnerable and challenging."
 
To see some of the sessions Patrick is attending at the conference click here.
JULIUS JOHNSON
Promising Playwright Julius
 
Julius Johnson will be the first male in his family to go to college.  He is humble when asked if he thinks of himself as a role model. "My little brothers can't wait for me to leave already," he says. "They want my room."  Then he adds, "I know they'll miss me."
 
This self-deprecating humor is typical for Julius.  "I just love to laugh and have fun," he says. "That's my thing. Separate the balance between fun and work."
 
Because he lives in Southeast DC, Julius had to get up at 6:00 AM each morning to travel to Bell Multicultural High School in Columbia Heights.  He graduated from Bell on Thursday, June 10th.  His parents, stepmother, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers and cousins traveled from as far away as Chicago to celebrate his accomplishment.
 
This August, Julius will try to be a walk-on for the Bowie State team.  He hopes to be a running back or linebacker.  At Bowie State he will study sports medicine.
 
His play When Dreams Sleep was inspired by his love of sports. In it, a football star must face the consequences after unwittingly using steroids.  He says, "I wrote When Dreams Sleep because I am an athlete and I watch sports and when you see a celebrity doing steroids, you know they don't realize how it effects our youth."
 
When Dreams Sleep was Julius's first play.  Although he says he had fun writing it, he admits that he's mostly focused on sports.  He does recognize, "writing could open some doors."
 
He advises other young people, "Just work hard. Whatever you want in life, just work for it. Because everything is achievable."
 
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