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

Nyeema Lewis

Promising Playwright, March 2019

 

The 6th Graders have worked very hard in the In-School Playwriting Program at Washington School for Girls (WSG) in Southeast, DC. With the help of YPT Teaching Artist Soneka Anderson, stories about friendship, espionage, ghosts and more abounded. Nyeema Lewis’ play was all that she hoped for and more. Nyeema got to see her play performed by professional actors in front of her friends, family and teachers.

Her play, This Ends Now, tells the story about a man named Donald who plans to take away the right to vote for women at all costs. But his daughter, Rosetta, will do anything she can to stop this from happening. Although entirely fictional, her play drew on social issues that are at the forefront today. For Nyeema, getting the play down on paper in YPT’s In-School Playwriting Program was complicated.

“I went through at least two or three different storylines and I started over a couple of times,” explains Nyeema. “There was this one night I just deleted everything from my other story and I started all over and it was just hard.”

In the end, though, Nyeema thought the experience writing a play and sharing it was very rewarding.

“I felt like all my work paid off because everybody was saying that I did a good job,” says Nyeema. “My dad was here and he was saying he’s proud of me.”

At WSG, everyone knows Nyeema is a writer. “Everybody calls me a soon-to-be author,” she beams. She wants to become a published author when she gets older and plans to keep writing as a hobby and see where it takes her.

As for YPT, she encourages young writers to experience the program if and when they can. “It’s a chance for you to get better knowledge about writing and a fun experience that you get to remember throughout your years of life.”

To fellow young writers, she advises, “[G]ive writing a chance because even if you’re not a reader/writer kind of person, just try it. I started out not liking it, but I did it in my perspective and the things that I liked, and I started to like it more.”