From: Young Playwrights' Theater [dsnider@yptdc.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 3:22 PM
To: Liza Harbison
Subject: YPT Wire September 2010 - Meet Aaliyah Rapp
October 2010

The Newsletter of Young Playwrights' Theater

In This Issue
Light Sabers and Melting Witches: Meet the Students of YPT's Fall 2010 In-School Playwriting Program
Join Us at YPT's First FREE Performance of the Season!
YPT Presents a Sneak Preview of Our New Play Woodlawn, at Woodlawn Cemetery
Volunteer for YPT Programs and Performances!
Aaliyah Rapp: Promising Playwright
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Issue: # 47 September 2010
Light Sabers and Melting Witches: Meet the Students of YPT's Fall 2010 In-School Playwriting Program
YPT Students EngageYPT kicked off our sixteenth year of the In-School Playwritng Program this week with twenty-one classes, throughout DC and Virginia. Students from grades four to eleven got their first taste of playwriting as professional actors performed original, student-generated endings to the YPT plays My Date with Kara and The Math Test

Original endings the students came up with on the spot included science labs, light sabers, the FBI, severed fingers, secret lairs, ransom, witches melting, and detention. The activity was only the beginning of an exciting twelve week process, at the end of which each student will have completed an original play. The excitement of being able to express themselves through theater was evident, even in this first workshop, as students shouted out suggestions to the actors. At Wilson High School, one student called out, "I have a brilliant idea!" We can't wait to see more of that confidence and creativity this semester!
Join Us at YPT's First FREE Performance of the Season!
How can we learn about ourselves from those who stand apart? 
 

Join us on October 4th, 2010, at YPT's first New Writers Now! event of the season, as young playwrights explore the art of looking at life from the outside in. How can we learn about our world through another's eyes? How does being different provide a valuable perspective?

YPT is excited to partner with the Mayor's Office on Latino Affairs (OLA) for this October New Writers Now! event, presented in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. YPT Producing Artistic Director and CEO David Snider says, "We're thrilled to partner with the Mayor's Office on Latino Affairs on this special evening that will help to celebrate our strong roots in the Latino community with Hispanic Heritage Month."

Join us for an evening of original plays by student playwrights.


FREE
Monday, October 4

6:30pm Reception
7pm Performance

GALA Hispanic Theatre
3333 14th Street NW
Washington DC 20010

Click here for more information about this New Writers Now! event, and YPT's entire Fifteenth Birthday Season.

YPT Presents Sneak Preview of Our New Play About Woodlawn Cemetery and Ward 7
Early in the morning on Saturday, September 11th, approximately one hundred volunteers, actors, local historians, community members, and YPT staff (not to mention the 36,000 resting below) gathered at the historic Woodlawn Cemetery. They listened to speakers from Greater DC Cares, the Woodlawn Perpetual Care Association, and YPT's very own Producing Artistic Director David Snider, then watched as YPT actors read a teaser from our upcoming play Woodlawn, inspired by the oral histories of community members. Volunteers then got to work cutting branches, mowing grass, and pulling weeds, beginning to bring life back to the space. In the afternoon, the actors performed a longer scene from Woodlawn at Sidney Harman Hall as part of Arts on Foot

The Woodlawn Project continues to be a YPT community effort east of the river, engaging with Maya Angelou Public Charter School, the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, Ward 7 Arts Collaborative, Life Pieces to Masterpieces, the Boys and Girls Club and Ward AME Church in Ward 7, and made possible through the support of the Schimel Lode and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Volunteer for YPT Programs and Performances!
Young Playwrights' Theater, the only professional theater in DC dedicated entirely to arts education, seeks volunteers to assist with its programming and performances. Opportunities include assisting master teaching artists in after-school and in-school programs and are ideal for early career arts educators and/or undergraduates looking to gain professional experience. Must be available consistently either for in-school or after-school opportunities, with the after-school workshop Wednesdays and/or Thursdays from 4-6 p.m.

Please contact Raina Fox, Community Engagement Associate, at rfox@yptdc.org, 202-387-9173, or via snail mail at Young Playwrights' Theater, 2437 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009.

To download a flier with more information on YPT volunteer opportunities, click here.
Aaliyah Rapp
Aaliyah RappPromising Playwright

"I like to be popular," Aaliyah says, smiling. She fiddles with the strap of her red purse that matches perfectly with the red ribbon in her hair and her red polo shirt. The gold hoop earrings she wears are shaped like hearts.

"My play is called The Fab Five: Confessions of a Party Girl," Aaliyah explains. "It's about this girl named Ariyanna. She's really popular. Her father is the president and her mother is the principal of her school. So if the teachers get on Ariyanna's case about being too popular, then her mother can defend her. The other girl in the play is Chelsi. She's not popular and she wants Ariyanna to stop being popular. She keeps bossing her, acting like she's her mother, but she's not."

"In the end Chelsi loses and Ariyanna wins," Aaliyah says, grinning. "Ariyanna is still popular, like me."

Aaliyah likes to spend time with her friends and family, going to the mall and the movies, singing along to their favorite songs by Trey Songz, Ciara and Usher.

Ms. Mariam Al-Shawaf, Aaliyah's teacher at Maya Angelou Public Charter School, noticed a transformation in Aaliyah when they began YPT's In-School Playwriting Program

"Working on the play was the most work she's done all year in any class," Ms. Al-Shawaf says. "She really enjoyed writing it. And then, once she'd started working during English period, she'd go on to be productive in other periods as well."

Despite her seeming confidence, Ms. Al-Shawaf reports that Aaliyah was nervous when the actors stepped forward to read Aaliyah's play on the last day of class. "She protested. She was embarrassed," she says.

"I felt nervous because I didn't know if it was going to come out right," Aaliyah says. "And then, when it did, I felt excited and happy."

Aaliyah advises other young playwrights, "Don't be worried because your play will come out good. It doesn't matter what anybody else says about your play as long as you like it."
 
For more Promising Playwrights
click here.
Young Playwrights' Theater
2437 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009 
202-387-9173
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