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

Cristian Daly

Promising Playwright, June 2015


 “I really liked YPT...because I actually got to put my feelings into the play.”

Cristian Daly sees superheroes wherever he looks. “Ever since I was very little I loved to read comic books,” says the articulate, kindhearted soon-to-be fifth grader at Watkins Elementary School. “So [in my play] I thought I’d make my own team like the Justice League.”

Cristian did just that, banding together the Legion of Light for his play, Captain Marvelous. “The three characters...[are] Kid Kaliber , Captain Marvelous and Hotshot. Kid Kaliber has [high-]caliber machine guns; Captain Marvelous—everybody likes him, and he can fly.” Every member of the Legion of Light has his own personality, and Cristian—who draws as well as he writes—has meticulously sketched out how each one looks, too.

But Cristian’s attention to detail and character development doesn’t end with his heroes. Even the play’s antagonist, Dr. Snake, has a good reason why he wants to freeze the whole galaxy. “Before Captain Marvelous came, [Dr. Snake] was the superhero,” Cristian explains. “But when Captain Marvelous came along everybody forgot about he’s mean and wants to get his revenge.”

This empathetic portrayal highlights one of the most important things students learn in the In-School Playwriting Program: that everyone, even the villain, has a story to tell. In the world of Cristian’s creation, that story is just as critical as Captain Marvelous’ “shiny hair” and white boots.   

What makes Cristian Daly remarkable, however, is not his ability to make up heroes—it’s his ability to recognize the true heroes in his life. When asked if he had anything to say to the world, this is what Cristian said:

“I want to thank my mom, because I love my mom and I don’t know what I would do without her. She brought me here to DC [from El Paso], and if I hadn’t come to DC, then...I wouldn’t have written the play. And she’s very inspirational: she’s very nice, and she lets me talk to her about my feelings.

From an inspirational mom comes an inspirational son, whom we were delighted to meet this semester. Stay tuned for more from Cristian Daly—you haven’t seen the last of him! Mwahahaha!!!