Young Playwrights' Theater inspires young people to realize the power of their own voices.

Carlos Mejia Ventura

Promising Playwright, June 2019

 

For the last couple of weeks 5th grade Brent Elementary School student Carlos has been creating a story as part of Celebrate the Creative Spark!, a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities initiative to bring programs into DC classrooms to “spark” creativity and imagination. YPT facilitated accelerated storytelling workshops in DC schools where students drafted and presented original monologues.

Carlos’s monologue, titled Marcus’s Troubles is about a boy named Marcus from Italy who decides to steal money from his job to make a payment on his family’s home which they are about to lose. After being caught, Marcus tries to flee to the United States, and the monologue captures his inner turmoil as he is waiting for his flight at the airport.

“I gave it a lot of thought,” explains Carlos. “Since we’ve been learning about poverty in [writing class], I chose to talk about poverty and struggle in my story.”

For Carlos, this was a nice change from the fiction he usually writes. In his writing class, he has written two fantasy short stories, but this was the first time he’s written a dramatic piece. “I enjoy [writing],” says Carlos. “I can make anything happen.”

When not writing, Carlos is actively involved in Junior Coach, a peer leadership program in which students volunteer their time by doing such things as monitoring recess. After school, they learn about how to grow as leaders in school and in life and go on field trips.

Overall, Carlos has this to say for other young writers writing with YPT: “My advice is whatever they want to add to just add it. If they think it’s good, it’s good. Don’t let anyone stop it. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing it.”