On Monday night DC students mingled with diplomats, and discussed theater and writing with bank managers, lobbyists and professional actors at New Writers Now! The lobby at the GALA Hispanic Theatre buzzed with conversation as people gathered, anticipating the performance to come and sharing in the pre-reception food generously provided by Commerce Bank.
The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) partnered with YPT to present this staged reading in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. "As an organization that promotes diversity of thought in the Hispanic community, we are proud to support our local youth in the performing arts," said Octavio Hinojosa Mier, CHLI’s Executive Director. "The performing arts inspire our community to reach its full potential in all aspects of our society. It is wonderful to see such young talent, and these particular high school students - Vanessa, Rose and Jorge - are part of a Hispanic legacy rich with literature, culture and story-telling."
The staged reading featured: Goodbye Past, Hello Future by Vanessa Vatran, Do Dreams Exist? by Rose Stefany Quispe, and The Last Goodbye by Jorge Hernandez. Each of the plays examined the role of family and community and was performed by professional actors: Monalisa Arias, Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey, Wendy Nogales, Alex Perez, Fernando Romero and Manolo Santalla. After the performance, YPT Producing Artistic Director, David Andrew Snider, moderated a conversation with the playwrights.
"Each play was captivating and intense," said David Chalker, Manager of Commerce Bank at Dupont Circle. "We are fortunate that there is an outlet like YPT for these young people to share their stories and develop their talent."
"It wasn’t just good, it was great!" said McKinley Tech High School student, Samantha Brew, who was moved by the courage and power of her peers’ both in their writing and in their comments during the talkback.
The next New Writers Now! will be on Monday, November 24th and will feature student writing about "Life In School." Mark your calendars now!