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

Tokunbo Adedeinde

Promising Playwright, August 2016

“This literally helped me to know what I want to do in the future.”

Tokunbo Adedeinde is bringing his dreams to life. A multi-talented artist and student at Catholic University, Tokunbo has excelled in acting, writing, musical theater and more. But what he truly wants to be, he says, is a filmmaker.

“When I was a kid ... I always liked playing with the camera,” Tokunbo remembers. Growing up in Northwest DC, he had few opportunities to explore his passion—until, one summer, his mother promised to buy him a video camera if he would audition for Beauty and the Beast at Sitar Arts Center. “That’s how I fell in love with acting, theater,” he explains; “I haven’t stopped since.”

Since age 14, Tokunbo has taken classes at Sitar nearly every semester. He has performed in six student musicals, co-produced the documentary film Life as a Collage with Meridian Hill Pictures and, at age 15, took his first playwriting workshop: Arena Stage’s Student Playwrights Project, taught by YPT’s own Laurie Ascoli!

“With playwriting, what you get is full creativity,” he says. “You can pretty much make whatever you want. ...I like that.”

This summer, Tokunbo returned to playwriting in YPT’s Teen Intensive at Camp Sitar. Inspired by a photo of a man standing by a piano, he began work on a moving play about an aspiring musician who is “not only trying to win his father’s love, he’s trying to fight for his dreams.” At the Teen Intensive’s final reading, Tokunbo’s words sprang from the page and dazzled the audience!

After college, Tokunbo plans to move to New York or Los Angeles to pursue a film career. This semester, he hopes to take acting classes, write screenplays and prepare himself for the big move. No matter where he ends up, he will take the lessons he learned with YPT—and nearly every other DC arts institution—with him. “Thank you for the opportunity; for everything,” he says. “I’m looking forward to what’s next.”

We are looking forward to what’s next for you too, Tokunbo! Thank you for sharing your voice with us – we know you will go on to do big things!