Promising Playwright, March 2014
Liam Wells may only be in eighth grade, but he already understands more about being an artist than many of us ever will. “When you can’t really think about anything else,” he says, “that’s what you do.”
The Swanson Middle School student brought this truth to bear on his play, The Contest, written during YPT’s In-School Playwriting Program and now a featured play in our upcoming New Play Festival. Having never written a play before, he “kind of started freaking out” about what to write until he hit upon the answer: science! “I never liked science before in school, but [that] year we were doing a really fun unit…I’d come home and tell my parents and my brother all about science and school, how much fun it is, bore them to tears with it.”
So Liam wove his two newest interests into one play, about two friends vying for a science prize. That play has taken him all the way to the New Play Festival, and into dramaturgy sessions where he has had the chance to refine his script even further. “[Dramaturgy] was more than I expected,” he notes. “There’s so much stuff that can…make the conflict so much better. And when you have all of these great ideas you can’t just let them go to waste, you have to do them!”
With just a month and a half left until his play is performed at GALA Hispanic Theatre, Liam is “blown out of [his] mind” with excitement. “I don’t know if they’re going to like it, I don’t know if they’re going to hate it, I don’t know what to expect! But I’m excited for it.”
We’re incredibly excited for it, too, and can’t wait to see what Liam comes up with when he hits on the next thing he just can’t stop thinking about!