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

Josephine Crittenden

Promising Playwright, August 2014

"Do you ever get that feeling where everything’s so good you’re almost embarrassed about it?”  - Josephine Crittenden, the night of her New Play Festival performance.


YPT's young playwrights are as unique as the areas we serve, each with a personality all his or her own. Some playwrights are energetic, some are shy, some are inspiring and some are inspired. If you had to describe Josephine Crittenden in one word, it would be: precocious.


A recent graduate of Watkins Elementary School, Josephine kicked off our 2014 New Play Festival with her Featured Play, The Torn Captor. Taking the stage to introduce her play, she described how she got the idea for the piece: "My stuffed cat, Big Kitty, and my imagination." Then she shared a dream that wowed the crowd. "I hope that in the future I become an author and win the Newbery Award," she said, smiling as the audience whistled and cheered.


(Click here to watch The Torn Captor on Youtube!)


Josephine's authorial aspirations are no mere lip service, either. Together with her best friend and fellow New Play Festival Finalist Louise Banks, she has penned several books already, including a fifty-page story about the very Big Kitty that inspired her play. With more ideas making their way from her head to the page, it is only a matter of time before Josephine turns her dream into reality!


Until then, this driven young writer plans to keep her focus on her craft and not on herself. "I don't like a lot of attention," she says, confessing that she was nervous introducing her play. But the performance gave her an opportunity to see what it takes to bring a creative piece to life. "I always felt like I needed to improve my play," she continues: like any good writer, always seeking more from her work.


But from the laughter ringing through GALA Hispanic Theatre that night, as Flora-Ruth and Big Kitty saved the misguided Dr. Destiny from himself, it was clear that the audience could not have asked for more from The Torn Captor. In fact, if they were anything like us, they left the theater ready to fill out their Newbery Award nominations!

You can read The Torn Captor, along with 35 other YPT plays, in our 2014 New Play Festival book, available now on