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

Aoife Butler

Promising Playwright, April 2015


“I want to...spread my stories all over the world.”

Aoife Butler may only be in fifth grade, but she approaches her writing with an adult sensibility. Her New Play Festival Featured Play, Empathy vs. Appetite, pits the compassionate Sun against the hungry Moon - and Aoife wants her work to spark something inside of her audience. “I like that it...can make you think about yourself,” she says. “Are you more like the Sun or more like the Moon?”  

At first glance, Aoife seems to be all Sun. Bright and chipper, she made her way through the In-School Playwriting Program and the New Play Festival process surrounded by a halo of joy. “I was so happy when I got the phone call saying I was one of the 32 finalists, but when they told me they would be putting on my play, I was thrilled!” During rehearsals, she studiously took notes for the actors performing her piece, and in the end felt that “they had said every line perfectly.”

But happiness and empathy are not Aoife’s only defining characteristics: she is driven by a creative appetite as well. “I like to write whenever I can,” she says. “I want to keep writing for as long as possible and spread my stories all over the world.”

Aoife finds inspiration for her writing wherever she can—the idea for Empathy vs. Appetite came from a game she played with a friend while camping—and she imbues her work with lessons her audience can take away with them. “[My play] might give you a better idea of who you are—if you give more than you take.”

We are so grateful that Aoife Butler gave her talent and time to the New Play Festival, and we can’t wait to see where her appetite for writing takes her next!