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

Erin Powers

Amazing Alumna, July 2015

“Being recognized for what I love to do, that’s the
best feeling in the world.”

Erin Powers has big dreams, and she won’t stop until she achieves them. The 19 year-old Film & Video major at Georgia State University aspires to a multi-faceted entertainment career, and envisions herself using her art to spread empowerment and hope.

“I want to have a message within my work,” she says. “I want to share all this with the world.”

Erin has been sharing her gifts with the world since age 11, when she began acting in plays around DC. It wasn’t until high school, however, that she found something she really wanted to say—and found a way to say it.

“In 11th Grade I had transferred from Washington Latin [Public Charter School] to Bell [Multicultural High School], and I was that new girl,” she says. Seeking to make friends, she fell in with the wrong crowd, and ran into trouble before finding her way out. “It’s hard when you come to a new school... and the first people who come to you are the ones that are wrong for you. ...In the long run you find out that that’s not the people you’re supposed to be with.”

Once Erin learned that lesson, she wanted to pass the word along—so when YPT came to her classroom that year, she seized the opportunity to write a play about peer pressure. Her play, Under Pressure, was selected for the 2012 New Play Festival and brought to life onstage. 

“I really didn’t expect to win or to get this opportunity, but...when I found out, I was ecstatic!” she remembers. During rehearsals, “I felt like the big man at the table...I felt like I was really respected as the playwright.”

Erin’s experience in the Festival provided her with a “stepping-stone” on her way to where she wants to be: working as a film director and actress, while modeling and doing motivational speaking on the side. Though her interests range from music videos to feature films, what spurs her on is a desire to do good. Alongside her major, Erin is working toward a minor in Sociology, and hopes to one day film a documentary about the DC she knows. “[Outsiders] don’t really get to see the culture: Mambo Sauce at the carry-out, different buses, different streets…we have our own culture, we have our own point of view.”

Wherever she ends up, one thing is for certain: Erin Powers is going to make a difference. “I’m really passionate, and I don’t care who’s in my way—I’m gonna get what I want,” she says. “I look forward to changing the world through film.”