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

Ubochioma Obi Ukaegbu

Promising Playwright, December 2011

"Initially, I thought we were going to perform our play for little kids, so I wrote a fantasy, but once I realized we could do whatever we wanted, I decided to make it a comedy/adventure, though a fantasy at the same time," shares Ubochioma Obi Ukaegbu, or Obi,  a senior at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School.


"There are three main characters. Michael and Jason are brothers whose father recently died, and Lisa is a friend of Jason's," Obi explains. "The play is centered around this Rubix cube they find that takes them to an alternate world - similar to Narnia, I suppose. They have to use their intelligence to decipher signs throughout the play and figure out how to escape."


Even though the world Obi creates is full of wizards and magical symbols, the play is really about relationships. "I want people to see that whenever you have a problem with somebody, you should talk it out and see if you can get that problem solved instead of keeping it inside of you," he says. "The longer you keep it bundled inside, the worse you're going to get emotionally and mentally. You see that in my play between Michael and Jason."


When he isn't writing, Obi plays basketball, soccer and chess, acts in school plays, volunteers with Teens Against the Spread of AIDS and is a member of his school's Men of Strength Club, an advocacy program for the prevention of violence against women. Next year, he will be studying business administration at NYU.

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