From: Young Playwrights' Theater [eandrews@yptdc.org]
Sent: Thursday, March 05, 2009 10:09 AM
To: Elizabeth Andrews
Subject: YPT Wire March 2009 - Meet Kamilia Epps
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Karen Zacarias To Receive Giving Voice Award
Now Booking The Express Tour
Promising Playwright: Kamilia Epps
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Issue: # 30 March 2009
KAREN ZACARIAS TO RECEIVE
YPT's GIVING VOICE AWARD
Giving Voice Award 
YPT's Founding Artistic Director Karen Zacarias will be the first recipient of
the newly established Giving Voice Award at the opening night of the 2009 New Play Festival.
 
"Karen embodies the YPT mission wherever she goes," says Producing Artistic Director, David Andrew Snider.
 
"It is her spirit and vision that inspired and continues to inspire our work.  Today, as she works continually as a playwright throughout the country, she champions YPT wherever she goes and serves as one of our best ambassadors.  We are establishing this award to honor extraordinary individuals like Karen, those who inspire and empower others to realize their potential as individuals and artists," David Snider says. 
 
"Tens of thousands of students, their families and communities have grown and benefitedNew Play Festival from her inspiration. 
It's an honor to pay homage to her with this first award.   It sets the bar high for winning this award and allows us to begin this new tradition where it all started, with Karen."

Don't miss this important event. Mark your calendars now and make plans to attend opening night of the New Play Festival on April 6th.
The Express Tour
Now Booking!
 
YPT Express Tour
The Express Tour is our traveling production of vibrant new plays. Student plays are brought to life by professional actors in an energetic, fully staged performance.  The tour inspires creativity and introduces diverse audiences to the voice of a new generation.
Our company travels to a wide variety of community venues including schools, theaters and hospitals.
 
Call 202-387-9173 or write to bpribnow@yptdc.org to book the tour for your site this April and May! Or catch the Express Tour at one of our public showcase performances!
 
Express Tour Showcase 
May 6, 7, 8, 9
7:30 PM
GALA Hispanic Theatre
3333 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
   
Kamilia Epps
Kamilia EppsPromising Playwright 

"If YPT hadn't come into my classroom that day, I wouldn't have this passion to write," Kamilia Epps said as she spoke to the audience after her play For Which It Stands was presented at New Writers Now!

Kamilia wrote her play in 2005, as part of YPT's In-School playwriting program at Bell Multicultural High School. She is now a college student and contract employee for the Department of Labor and was thrilled to see her work performed by professional actors. "I felt like a god in a sense, just sitting there seeing something that I have created being brought to life," Kamilia says. "Not to mention the actors performed the characters exactly the way I imagined them, or better."
 
For Which It Stands unpacks the American idea of manifest destiny in sophisticated and surprising ways.  She explores the concept of US expansion through such diverse and historical characters as Chief Seattle, James Polk, fugitive slave Anthony Burns as well as Northern and Southern soldiers and Mexican citizens.  "I liked the idea of being able to use the arts to illustrate an issue that has transcended through time. So, playwriting has helped me to express myself in a creative way; thinking beyond the facts and asking, what if?" Kamilia says.
 
As she researched manifest destiny Kamilia herself says that she became "a bit obsessed. My parents thought I was like a mad scientist."
 
"In the next few years, I hope to have written something else that gains some sort of attention," Kamilia says.  She advises other young playwrights, "If you're afraid to write, you're afraid to think. Writing is just bringing everything within your head to the paper and pad."
To see more pictures of Kamilia and her play click here.
 
To make a donation to support the work of future Promising Playwrights, click here.
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