From: Young Playwrights' Theater [dsnider@yptdc.org]
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 5:15 PM
To: Liza Harbison
Subject: YPT Wire July 2010 - Meet Jalen Hamilton-Ross

The Newsletter of Young Playwrights' Theater

In This Issue
Jalen Hamilton-Ross: Promising Playwright
Transitions and Celebrations
Thank you for another great year!
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Issue: # 45 July 2010
Jalen Hamilton-Ross
Jalen Hamilton RossPromising Playwright
 
"I've wanted to become a famous singer and dancer since I was three," fifth grader Jalen Hamilton-Ross says, smiling. Right now Jalen is basking in the glow of a successful performance of his original play. He wrote the play as part of YPT's In-School Playwriting Program, and on this, the final day, he has just watched professional actors read it aloud in front of the class.
 
"It's based on a rap by Bobby Simmons. When they got to that point in the play, the actors asked me to do it because I have the reputation of being a good rapper and singer," Jalen says. He doesn't hesitate to do a repeat performance, and in a moment he's on his feet, rapping in the school library, completely at ease. The words flow rhythmically through him as he thumps his chest to the beat. He's having fun. To view a video of Jalen rapping, click here.  
Jalen Rapping
 
When he's done he smiles and says, "I like that rap because Bobby Ray's talking about kids and he says he's an alien and he's different from other people. I feel different ALL the time. You only have one chance to make a first impression. I mix it up. I wear lots of colors. Everybody else matches.  I don't like being like everyone else. I try to stand out. Being like everybody else is BORING."
 
Jalen likes to draw, write, dance, rap, sing and create his own songs. He speaks about his creativity as if it were a superpower he's just learning to control. "I can turn into somebody different at any time," he says. "I can become non-Jalen. I can be inspirational. Another side can pop out at you any second, out of the blue." As he speaks about his self-expression he begins to channel the same energy he did while rapping. He has the confidence and grace of a much older artist. He says, "A lot people say, 'Jalen, you can't do this. Jalen you can't do that.' I say, 'How you tell me that I can't do this if you haven't seen me do it?'"
 
For more Promising Playwrights
click here.
Transitions and Celebrations

David speaking

 
Summer is always an exciting time of transitions at YPT. As we complete our season, we take a few moments to reflect on all the work our students have accomplished and how much your support has meant to us. 
 
But this summer is especially important, as we prepare for our 15th birthday celebration and say farewell to one of our YPT staffers and one of our beloved teaching artists. Elizabeth Andrews will leave us this month to become the new Director of Drama at the Holton Arms School in Bethesda. Elizabeth has inspired and educated thousands of students during her four years here and we will greatly miss her. Patrick Crowley has been a teaching artist with us for almost six years and has helped us grow and develop our curricula to better serve students.  Patrick's moving to New York to attend graduate school and continue his journey as an artist and educator. We look forward to hearing great things from both of them. At the same time, we're in the process of adding two new staff members, including Nicole Jost, who has worked with YPT part-time for two years and is now joining our full-time staff as Program Manager. 
 
We're excited for these changes and for the new energy of another season. As always, thank you for your support. We'll soon be launching our 15th Birthday season and we'll be inviting all of you to see how far we've come and dream how far we'll go.  We'll see you at the party!

logosplat final

Thank you for another great year!
 

NPF ambassadors celebrate

 
Thank You!
 
This spring, we asked you to show your support for DC area students and help YPT say "Yes!" to more deserving schools and students next year, and you did not let us down.
 
On behalf of the hundreds of students throughout our region who will benefit from your generosity this spring, we thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
 
We could not do what we do without you.
Young Playwrights' Theater
2437 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009 
202-387-9173
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