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

2012 New Play Festival

2012 New Play Festival

2012 New Play Festival

New Play Festival 2012! Student playwrights. Professional actors. Bold new voices.

2012 New Play Festival
A celebration of bold new voices

Monday, April 23, 2012 at 7:30pm
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 7:30pm

GALA Hispanic Theatre
3333 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20010

Join us as we celebrate and honor new work created by students in YPT’s In-School Playwriting Program. Out of more than 800 eligible students, these 12 playwrights distinguished themselves with their imaginative and compelling scripts.

On April 23, join us for a family-friendly evening of whimsical and hilarious new plays appropriate for all audiences, exploring a wide range of stories — from talking library books to a wacky science experiment gone wrong.

On April 24, some of our older students present daring new works with topics that range from a recent war veteran’s struggle to overcome his own fear to a young woman’s battle with serious illness. **Plays on April 24 may not be appropriate for children under age thirteen.**

For more information, call 202-387-9173

RSVP on Facebook!

Funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. Major support also provided by the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs (OLA),  the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, Wells Fargo, Verizon and PNC Bank.


WAMU 88.5 is the official radio station of the New Play Festival.
ABC7-WJLA-TV is the official television station of the New Play Festival.


Community Sponsorship of the New Play Festival is provided by Bisnow, Flippin’ Pizza, RedRocks Pizzeria, KPMG and Meridian Hill Pictures.


2012 Featured Plays and

2012 Featured Plays and Playwrights

April 23

***Plays on this night are family-friendly and appropriate for all audiences.***

What happens when a robber comes up empty-handed?
Chris Chio explores a frustrating day in the life of a thief in his hilarious play, Robbed.

Chris is in the eighth grade at MacFarland Middle School. 

Annie the Almanac is in trouble, and only her true love, Benjamin the Book, can save her! Library books come to life in The Book and the Restless by Aayanna Collier.


Aayanna is in the fifth grade at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School.

Silena Sky by Ashley Harris tells the story of a young spy looking to prove her worth by shutting down an evil drug company. Silena must defeat her nemesis, Dr. Lexa, in order to save the day and earn the title of “Silena Spy”.

Ashley is in the fifth grade at Watkins Elementary School. 

Julie Kashmanian’s Polished is a hilarious tale of sibling rivalry. Leah just wants to paint her nails. Jo just wants to wash her hair. A struggle over time in the bathroom becomes “possibly the strangest near-death experience ever recorded."

Julie is in the eighth grade at H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program.

Kenny’s lifelong dream is to make it snow in his town. Unfortunately, he lives in New Mexico. What will happen when Kenny confronts Mother Nature herself about the lack of snow? Find out in Shawn Lee’s whimsical, sardonic play Frozen Cactus.

Shawn is in the ninth grade at Ballou High School.

The Magic Bracelet by Carmela Pascale tells the story of Eloise, a young girl picked on by a group of bullies. But Eloise has a secret weapon: her bracelet holds amazing powers. Join the adventure as Eloise takes a stand against bullying.

Carmela is in the fifth grade at Bancroft Elementary School.

Miranda Pomroy’s play Mr. Pig explores the strange and wacky things that happen after school’s out. When a science experiment gets out of control, will Mason and his teachers be able to save the school?

Miranda is in the fifth grade at Watkins Elementary School.


April 24

***Plays on this night contain mature content and may not be appropriate for children under thirteen.***

In The Stranger, Sam Burris deftly personifies the feeling of fear as a character, depicting the struggles of a recent war veteran. Follow Lieutenant Parker as he tries to leave “Fear” behind and start a new life as a civilian.

Sam is in the eighth grade at Swanson Middle School.


Carlos and Jose by Kevin Callejas thoughtfully explores the public mistrust and fear of teenagers through the experience of fifteen-year-old Carlos. When Carlos has a run-in with a mall security guard, will he stand up for his generation and be seen as more than a stereotype?

Kevin is in the ninth grade at Wakefield High School.


In The Alligator Summer, Nana Gongadze weaves a charming coming of age story. Will wants nothing more than to enjoy the lazy days of summer, but his mother insists that he get a job. Join Will and his best friend Jane as they navigate their journey into adulthood.

Nana is in the eighth grade at H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program.


Rosina Paz-Castillo explores the psyche of a young woman struggling to overcome cancer in her play In Times of Pain There’s Trouble. Joanne’s desire to enjoy the time she has left causes her to clash with her mother, Jill. How will a friendship with another teenage cancer patient affect Joanne’s outlook?

Rosina is in the Eleventh Grade at Edmund Burke School.


In Under Pressure, Erin Powers tells the story of Nikki’s struggle to make friends and stay out of trouble during her first week at a new high school.
Will Nikki make the right decisions even if it means losing the only friends she has made so far?

Erin is in the eleventh grade at Bell Multicultural High School.




2012 Finalist Plays and Playwrights


Dustin Cleaver Must Die by Madeline Aguilar, Lincoln Middle School

Blessing in the Storm by Christian Bullock, Bell Multicultural High School

Isabella and David by Diana Castillo, Bell Multicultural High School

Hispanic Ninja and The Knight by Daniel Garcia and Jeffry Williams, Powell Elementary School

The Big Race by Lillian Keller, Bancroft Elementary School

Where’s Ma? by Elsa Lazo, Bell Multicultural High School

The Wall That Has No Mercy by Evan McLean, H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program

Untitled by DeSharda Montgomery, Fillmore Elementary School

Two Sisters by Kai-Lan Olson, H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program

Super Ness Save the World! by Paola Rivera, Plummer Elementary School

Destined for One Love by Milkyas Tessema, Bell Multicultural High School

Best Friends are Forever by Anna Vargas, Swanson Middle School

Two Worlds by Helen Villegas, Lincoln Middle School

Cassie’s Own War by Ellie Williams, Maret School


2012 New Play Festival Photo Album

YPT held our 2012 New Play Festival on April 23 and 24 at GALA Hispanic Theatre. Twelve plays from our In-School Playwriting Program were performed over the two nights.

Click on the image to view details for any photo. You can also view all of our photo albums on our main photo page.

Photos by Liza Harbison.

2012 New Play Festival Rehearsals

On Saturday, April 14 and Saturday, April 21, the New Play Festival playwrights came to YPT's studio space to see the rehearsal process and give notes to their cast and crew.

Click on the image to view details for any photo. You can also view all of our photo albums on our main photo page.

Photos by Liza Harbison.

On March 17, 2012, YPT actors, staff, theater artists and student playwrights got together for the first read-through of the 2012 New Play Festival in preparation for the showcase performance at GALA Hispanic Theatre on April 23 & 24.

Click on the image to view details for any photo. You can also view all of our photo albums on our main photo page.

Photos by Liza Harbison.

2012 New Play Festival

2012 New Play Festival Producers
Heidi Anderson
Ivar Anderson and Atsuko
Kathy Bailey
Steve and Nicole Berman
Amy Campbell
Jon Chace
Patricia Chen
Adam Cherry
Thomas Cohen and Lisa
Salena Jo Day
Leila Fitzpatrick
Sandy and Jim Fitzpatrick
Lena and Matthew Frumin
Luis Botero and Nadine Gabai-
Miriam Gonzales
Thomas and Elaine Grantham
Bryan Greene
John Guenther and Elizabeth
Sarah Jencks
Tony Kalm
Brian Kennedy
Karen Kok
Michele Kulerman
Wallace E. and Julie Lewis
Laurie Loomis de Mancebo
Charles McMahon
Kevin McNamara
Robert Miller
Julie Paller
Vincent Pan
Valerie Piper
Margarita Prieto
Judy Lynn Prince
Ann Blackman Putzel and Michael
Maxi Recine
Traci Reisner
John and Anne Rigby
Jennifer Russell
Elizabeth Sablik
Linda and Ken Schatz
Patricia Smith
Mark and Jill Stacey
Nevzer Stacey
Cynthia Terrell and Robert D.
Robert Torrenson, Jr. and Dianne
     Kemp Torrenson
Andre Varchaver
Mark Warren
David Winer
Tanya Woods
Jennifer Wrenn
Karen Zacarias