Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT) has announced that Savannah Miller and Adanna Paul are its first two participants in the 2020-2021 Young Playwrights in Progress (YPIP) new play development program. Savannah and Adanna were selected from submissions from playwrights across DC, Maryland, and Virginia. They will receive monthly script advising with YPT Artistic Director Farah Lawal Harris, and their work will be presented in free public virtual workshop readings on February 1-2, and May 3-4, 2021.
Farah Lawal Harris launched Young Playwrights in Progress in May 2020 with a call for applications from young playwrights, ages 14 to 24, and early-career playwrights of any age who have an original script to be considered for a long-term development process.
The goal of the program is to give playwrights—especially those from historically oppressed communities—access to supportive script development to help them grow in their craft. “I think for those of us in DC who are playwrights, it’s definitely difficult to get your work developed, and it’s hard to get your foot in the door,” explained Farah.
“So this is an opportunity for folx to be able to take their time and work on a script and get feedback in a way that’s not pressure-filled. It’s using our resources to teach you what we know about playwriting to enhance your script and get your work out there.”
Savannah Miller (she/hers) will be developing her play The House, which was first presented as a staged reading at Dartmouth College, a Theater major and English and Russian double minor. The House follows two brothers who must come to terms with their family history during the sale of their childhood home. “This particular piece is extremely personal to me,” said Savannah. “I want to get these kinds of perspectives and characters [from my play] into the world…I know there are ways this play can improve and having a team of creatives working on it and contributing feedback would help it grow tremendously.”
Adanna Paul (she/hers) will be developing Matayanda, a one-woman play exploring how Black girls cope with trauma by delving into the mind of a troubled, lost young woman and her imaginary friend, a doll from childhood. “I know that I want this process to be one of openness and understanding,” explains Adanna, a recent graduate of Howard University, where she earned a BFA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in acting. “Ultimately, I want to find ways to share my play with more people and make it more accessible, particularly to those in the Black community where silence and dismissal is often the answer to mental health challenges.”
YPT invites the community is invited to two series of virtual workshop readings to help Savannah and Adanna work on their plays. Free tickets may be reserved now at bit.ly/yptshows. More information about the program and the playwrights can be found at bit.ly/YPTProgress.
About Young Playwrights’ Theater
Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT) inspires young people to realize the power of their own voices.
YPT believes that creative expression and theater are valuable tools for the education, enrichment, and self-actualization of young people. Through our programs and productions, we fulfill their creative vision by hiring professional artists to guide and perform original youth-generated work for their peers and for the public.
YPT believes that it is important that youth, especially those whose voices are often minimized, have access to high-quality arts education that centers their experience and is culturally competent and affirming for all young people involved. In order to do this work, YPT acknowledges oppression and reduces its harm through our internal and external structures and practices.
YPT believes that young people are inherently brilliant and we exist to share that brilliance with the world.