From: Young Playwrights' Theater [eandrews@yptdc.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:50 AM
To: Rachael Swann
Subject: YPT Wire September 2009 - Meet Daniel Nguyen
September 2009 Masthead

The Newsletter of Young Playwrights' Theater

In This Issue
Students Speak Out About Youth Violence
Programming Success
Daniel Nguyen: Promising Playwright
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Issue: # 35 Sept 2009
Students Speak Out About Youth Violence
 hands raised 
"The way I see it, youth violence happens because of the mentality and mind state of the people involved.  We first must change the culture of the community to see substantial results." 
      - Lewsha
 
This is just one of the insightful responses DC youth generated when YPT went into neigborhoods this summer asking the question, "Why does youth violence happen?"
 
As crime statistics were tallied this summer and pundits and officials began a new round of dialogues on how to prevent the violence that too often claims young lives, YPT was on the ground in schools and community centers talking to young people to get their perspective.
 
"What was most striking is how differently it's perceived regionally," Producing Artistic Director David Andrew Snider reports. "We'd have students in Southeast telling us that there were no gangs in their neighborhoods, only neighborhood beefing, and yet students in Northwest were much more ready to identify crime as gang-related."
 
Snider also says that age made a big difference in students' perception of crime. "Younger kids, students who are 11 or 12, seem to have more distance from the violence, while older students were much more aware," he says.
 
YPT met with over 60 students on location with three different community groups: AMYLA, COINNS and HICKS.  Like YPT, all are members of the Citywide Coordinating Council for Youth Violence Prevention.
 
The students' writing will be featured in September's New Writers' Now! performance Dying for Respect.
 
"Many of the students were inspired to write more when they saw we took their writing so seriously," Snider says.
 
One young writer had particularly good advice for avoiding violent situations:
 "When you're angry you get old fast. Stay nice, be nice."
                                         - Imani
Programming Success
Teacher and StudentsYPT Reaches More Schools Than Ever Before!  
 
This fall YPT will serve over 600 students in Washington, DC, and Arlington, Virginia.  The In-School Playwriting Program will be taught by eleven teaching artists in six elementary schools, two middle schools and four high schools.  Approximately forty additional students will be served by YPT's after-school programs. 
 
"Serving this number of students at one time is unprecedented," raves YPT Associate Director Patrick Torres. "It is an exciting opportunity to reach more young writers than ever before, and give them the tools to communicate their dreams through playwriting."
 
In 2008-09 YPT served 650 students. Torres estimates that YPT will teach over 800 students within the 2009-10 school year.   
Daniel Nguyen
DanielPromising Playwright
 
"When I got up to read my part in front of the big audience, I thought I might embarrass myself. But I didn't. That feels pretty good." 
         -  Daniel Nguyen
 
This summer Daniel Nguyen participated in the Horizons at Maret program, and worked with his classmates and YPT to create an original play about vampires and soccer. The class then performed a staged reading of their original play A Very Strange Soccer Game for all of the students in the Horizons program.
 
"Everybody did pretty well," Daniel reports. "They all got their lines right. Nobody messed up."
 
"I like theater," Daniel says. "We have drama at my new school." Formerly a student at HD Cooke Elementary School, this Columbia Heights resident has transferred to Capital City Public Charter School for the 2009-10 school year. He is in the 6th grade.
 
When he's not in school, Daniel likes to read and play checkers with his sister, Anna. "I usually win," he says, nonchalantly. Daniel is 11. His sister is 10.
 
His favorite book is Captain Underpants. He says he doesn't watch TV much because he's always reading.
 
"I like to play video games," Daniel adds. "When I grow up I want to be a game designer. My games will be full of action." 
 
Click here to see the photo album from this summer's playwriting program with Horizons at Maret. 
 
For more Promising Playwrights click here.
Young Playwrights' Theater
2437 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009 
202-387-9173
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