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

Meet the Creative Team

Meet the Creative Team of

Silence is Violence

Farah Lawal Harris, Playwright


Farah Lawal Harris is a first-generation Nigerian playwright, actress, director, and member of the DC-based playwrights’ collective The Welders. She deeply believes in the power of black women and their stories and aims to make people feel less alone through her art, which is her activism. Farah co-founded Washington, DC-based theatre companies, The Saartjie Project and Wild Women Theatre, and is a three-time individual artist grant recipient from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Farah created YPT’s acclaimed Silence is Violence social justice performance series and shifted the organization in a new direction by producing high-quality, multi-performance runs of full-length plays written by DC-area young people. 

She holds three Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Maryland-College Park in Theatre Performance, Criminology & Criminal Justice, and African American Studies and graduated with High Honors. In summer 2018, her one-act play, America’s Wives, was produced by Capital Fringe in their inaugural Writing Refreshed series. Farah’s plays have been produced in the Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival (FRESHH Inc. and The Welders), Theater Alliance’s Hothouse New Play Development Series, Convergence Theatre, the Capital Fringe Festival, and the DC Black Theatre Festival

Farah currently resides in Maryland with her husband and son. For more information, please visit

Eric Ruffin, Director


Eric Ruffin’s recent regional theatre directing credits include Fabulation (Mosaic Theater Company of DC), Stirring the Waters at The Reach (Kennedy Center), A Raisin in the Sun (Logan Repertory Theatre Company), Three Cheers for Grace  (Young Playwrights Theater), Sarafina! (Kennedy Center and Mann Center) and Black Nativity (Theater Alliance) which won 3 Helen Hayes Awards including Best Musical. He co-coordinates the Acting Program at Howard University.  

He is a Stage Directors and Choreographers Associate, and former: Drama League Directing Fellow, Folger Theatre Acting Fellow, NY Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect and Princess Grace Grant recipient for Dance. He also serves on the Woolly Mammoth Board of Directors.

Charles Franklin, IV, Assistant Director


Charles is delighted to be working with YPT for the first time. As an actor, he has recently been seen in Day of Absence and Blood at the Root (Theater Alliance). He has also recently directed Dutchman (Bowie State University). Charles is an alumnus of Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Bowie State University where he studied acting and directing.

About Silence is Violence, Charles says:

"Seeing something, hearing something, feeling something and not bringing it to the attention of others is an experience of healing, learning and humanity missed."

Alexa Ross, Set Designer


This is Alexa’s first time working with YPT. Most recently Alexa was the Scenic Artist for Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World (Mosaic Theater Company of DC), Einstein’s Wife (ExPats Theater), Roller Dynasty (Sorout Works) and The Duchess of Malfi (UNCSA). She is currently a Design Fellow at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Alexa received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

About Silence is Violence, Alexa says:

“Staying quiet is not the answer, we must take action and take action for the change we want to see.”

John Alexander, Lighting and Projection Designer


This is John’s first time working with YPT. Most recently, John has worked on The Royale (TheatreSquared), This Bitter Earth (Theater Alliance), Fabulation, Or the Re-Education of Undine (Mosaic Theater Company of DC) and Airness (Keegan Theatre, 1st Stage). He was also nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for his work on Top Dog Underdog (Avant Bard Theatre). He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Lighting Design at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

About Silence is Violence, John Alexander says:

"Inaction is ammunition."

Simone Schneeberg, Technical Director


 Simone is excited to work with YPT. As a scenic designer, she has worked on Blue Camp (The Rainbow Theatre Project) and Be More Chill (Monumental Theatre). Currently, she is the Technical Direction Apprentice at Studio Theatre. You can learn more about Simon and her work at

About Silence is Violence, Simone says:

“‘Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.’ - from ‘First They Came’ a poetic translation of a post Holocaust confession”

Keta Newborn, Production Manager


Keta is currently a full-time team member at YPT. Her recent creative projects include Topdog/Underdog (Avant Bard Theatre) and Three Cheers to Grace (Young Playwrights’ Theater). She was also nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Topdog/Underdog. As a theatre professional, she has over 12 years of stage management experience under her belt. You can learn more about Keta at

About Silence is Violence, Keta says:

“Using your voice matters.”

Diarra Fields, Stage Manager



This is Diarra’s first time working with YPT. Most recently, she worked on the production of School Girls, Or The African Mean Girls Play (Round House Theater) as Assistant Stage Manager and Pipeline (Studio Theater) as Production Assistant. In 2017, she was proud to be a KCACTF Nominee for Stage Management. She also studied at North Carolina Central University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater with a double concentration in Performance and Technical Theater.

About Silence is Violence, Diarra says:

“Silence is Violence means to stand up and take action.”

Tyrone Brown, Jr., Assistant Stage Manager


Tyrone Brown joins the team as an understudy to the Silence is Violence ensemble. He is also the Assistant Stage Manager of the Creative Team. His most recent credits include Guys and Dolls (Kensington Arts Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar (Little Theatre of Alexandria) and The Road Less Traveled (Norfolk State University Theatre Company). He is an alumnus of Norfolk State University and currently trains at All Things are Possible LLC.

About Silence is Violence, Tyrone says: 

“Make your voice be heard. If you are frustrated enough you will take action; change will come.”