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

Christian Lara

Promising Playwright, December 2014

“The games, the playwriting, the imagination—it’s all so fun.”

Christian Lara is always in motion. The fourth grader from Bancroft Elementary School, who recently completed YPT’s After-School Playwriting Program at Sitar Arts Center, overflows with energy and excitement. He pours this joy into his writing, his performance and the many activities he takes part in at school and at Sitar.

“I started [at Sitar] writing and drawing, then moved on to more complex [things] like playwriting,” he says.

Christian also takes piano lessons and studies music theory, has been perfecting his ventriloquist act and last year was cast in a school performance of Treasure Island. “I played a narrator,” he explains, “Scurvy Pete. I was the only narrator who got to wear an eye patch—everyone else was so jealous.”

He doesn’t have a favorite subject in school—“does recess count as a subject?”—but only because he likes them all, and he counts math among his passions, along with writing and eating chocolate.

Christian first got interested in playwriting while reading the script for Treasure Island. “I thought, ‘What happened if I can make my own play in my own image?’” he says.

When he found out that Sitar was offering a YPT program, he jumped at the chance to write his own work. “I’m thinking about calling it Nature’s Friendship,” he continues. “It talks about a girl who has the powers of nature and ... her friendship with another girl named Sally, who’s under the mind control of Thorn, an evil witch. I like superheroes.”

At the time of his interview, Christian had already worked out his protagonist’s secret identity (Natalie Leaftree), Thorn’s range of abilities and the logic of Sally’s mind control—showing how deeply he had considered the plot and character development of his play.

Despite his love of writing and theater, Christian envisions a career in a different field. “What I really want to be in the future is one of those scientists that creates special medicines,” he says. “I just wanna make medicines for animals and humans alike without any side effects. ... I also want to be a zoologist, to help animals—because I really love animals—and maybe even find a new species!” 

With all these dreams in his mind and goals on the horizon, it’s no wonder that Christian Lara can’t stay still.