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

Arianna Espiritu

Promising Playwright, April 2019

“Children can do a lot of things that adults can do, so you shouldn’t judge small people.”

Tucker Elementary School 5th-grader Arianna has accomplished a lot in her life so far, and now she is about to write her very first play.

Her play, currently Untitled, is about a teen actress named Arielle who is trying to get the lead role in a play. She must compete with her long-time rival for the chance at the starring role. “They both want this lead role that they’ve been working for all their lives,” explains Arianna, “but there are pros and cons about each actress, so they don’t know who is going to win.”

Arianna’s play came from her love of celebrities and the intrigue of actors’ lifestyles. “I’m very obsessed with a lot of actors and actresses,” says Arianna, “and sometimes I watch their videos on YouTube and stuff where they talk about how they got their lead role, and I thought I could write this kind of thing and make it a play about getting a role in a play.”

She also has acted in plays herself; her first role was the lead character in a school production of James Madison, Little Man, Big Ideas. She also writes poetry and is the 2018 Poet Laureate of Alexandria City Public Schools. Although this is her first play, she says that if all goes well, she’ll definitely want to write more plays.

When she’s not being a star on stage or reciting poetry, Arianna loves to read and is currently reading the Harry Potter series. She also runs track and likes to swim.

Arianna has big plans for the future. “I’m actually thinking about becoming the President of U.S.,” she exclaims. “I feel like politics really influences young children more than we know, and that’s sort of not fair. I want to change that and I want to sort of feel like how it would be if I was running the whole country… with help, of course.”

Arianna says she’s learning a lot with YPT and has advice for other young people who are trying to have their voice heard, “A lot of people say stay true to your dreams, but also try not to cover up any mistakes that you make, because you can learn from them.”

To the world, she says, “Children can do a lot of things that adults can do, so you shouldn’t judge small people.”