turn, turn, turn,
there is a season,
turn, turn, turn…
And this is the season for us to bid a very fond adieu to one of the originators of the entire Young Playwrights’ Lab: Kristen Zavar.
Way back, at the first turning of the YPL program, a couple of teaching artists descended on Donegan Elementary School with copies of the Wishbone Series version of Don Quixote in tow. They joined up with some teachers at the school, including Kristen Zavar and Sue Lucrezi, in having the students develop
and create their own versions of the story. Those students
then became part of Touchstone’s theatricade, Don Quixote of Bethlehem, performing in the streets of South Bethlehem in 2005.
The very next year, the teachers asked Touchstone, “What’s next?”
What was next was the development of the Young
Playwrights’ Lab program, and Kristen has been part and parcel of the program ever since.
Turn, turn, turn.
We are going to miss her expertise, the glint in her eye and the love in her heart for the kids we worked with: at Donegan, at Nitschmann, at East Hills, at Broughal. Over and over again, she proved to the students that she meant it when she said, “I know you can do it!” and “I believe in you.” Over and over again, she proved to her fellow teaching partners that she meant it when she said, “I love working with these kids” and “I love this program!”
Kristen teaches from the heart. And she puts her money where her mouth is: when students challenged her to audition for the Young Playwrights’ Festival, she did. And went on to play such memorable characters as a Tooth Fairy with an attitude and a Bride Chipmunk.
We will miss you, Kristen Zavar! We will miss your energy in the classroom and your whimsy. We will miss your delightful presence and the way you threw yourself whole-heartedly into everything you did with us in Young Playwright’s Lab.
We wish you all the best! Our consolation is that we know there are students in New Jersey who will now have the great joy of getting to know you.
You have imagined. You have created. You have inspired.
Turn, turn, turn.
~Mary Wright, YPL Coordinator