Sydney Person is a fifth grade student with a passion for snakes. Whenever he talks about them his eyes and smile grow improbably wide. “I like how they’re slithery, and dangerous, and I like how they kill things by squeezing them to death,” he explains. “And how they eat them and their jaws open so wide it’s crazy.”
Sydney’s enthusiasm is charming and he can speak with similar zeal on a number of topics. Right now he’s excited about the play he wrote with YPT’s In-School Playwriting Program
“It’s about Chocolate Choco and Chocolate Fudge,” he begins. “They’re brothers but they haven’t seen each other in 18 years. Chocolate Fudge used to live in Hawaii with his friend Kit Kat, but then Chocolate Choco called him and said to go to Las Vegas where there was a talent show. So he tried to steal Kit Kat’s speedboat…” The story goes on. Eventually they meet up with Alvin the Chipmunk who happens to be a shape shifter in this play.
Race for Choco and Fudge is Sydney’s first play, but he’s always enjoyed writing. “I wrote a Poirquoi Tale called How Snakes Shed Their Skin,” Sydney says. “It was about Bud the snake and his brother Shedder.” Despite his enthusiasm, Sidney does not own a snake. “My mother hates pets, period,” he says. His second grade teacher had two pythons. “We got to pet them and hold them. Oh my goodness, they were fun!” Sydney says.
On the final day of the In-School Playwriting Program professional actors came to Sydney’s school, Watkins Elementary, to read all of the students’ plays aloud in front of the whole 4th grade class. “At first I was embarrassed that people would laugh at it because I made it a little humorous,” Sydney says. “But then I felt calm because they are professional actors and they did really good on playing my characters in the play.”
When he grows up Sidney wants to be a basketball player or football player or, he says, “sometimes I just want to work at the zoo, because of snakes that I love.”
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