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

Maya Schindler

Promising Playwright, October 2016

“Don’t be afraid to be who you are, because otherwise there wouldn’t be a you in the world.”

Maya Schindler is on a mission. The DC International School sixth grader glows with passion for what she believes in, and stands firm in her conviction to speak out for what’s right.

“It’s not really about the money, it’s more about the mentality,” she says. “They just want to be respected as people and as athletes and as women.”

The ‘they’ about whom Maya speaks are female athletes: the stars of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, TV characters and more. An aspiring professional soccer player herself, Maya knows all about on-field discrimination: “Usually I was the only girl on the team, and the boys wouldn’t really pass the ball,” she remembers. With this in mind, she has joined her heroines in calling for equal pay for female athletes—and she’s using her time with YPT to do it.

A member of YPT’s first After-School Playwriting Program at DC International, Maya is writing a play about a female soccer player battling for gender equality. Urged by her parents to explore her creativity, Maya has seized the occasion to speak out on this issue through playwriting. Though her play is still in process, she foresees that it will “have ups and downs” and “[won’t] end up perfect, because in reality that can’t really happen.”

No matter how her play turns out, Maya is excited to see professional actors bring it to life. She hopes, too, that “the boys [see] it, because ... they think they’re better than girls.”

Here at YPT we know all about girl power, and can’t wait to see how Maya’s play and future turn out! Who knows, maybe someday she and Marisa Poe will join forces and use their powerful voices to change the “game” forever!