Preview of Plays – Lincoln Elementary Edition

Young playwright Amos hard at work

Young playwright Amos hard at work

Auditions for the 9th Annual YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS’ FESTIVAL are next Tuesday – don’t miss out! More info on auditions here - and if you want to fill out an audition sheet ahead of time, download one here!

But what kind of plays are these, that you’ll be auditioning for? Check out selections from the finalists at Lincoln Elementary:

OCTOPUS: Do you want to be my friend?
SEALEA: No, you’re an octopus.
OCTOPUS: Fine, then I will handcuff you.
- Jonalise, from her play Real Love

CHEETAH: Hey you, leopard. Can I have some of your cardboard to build a house?
LEOPARD: Sure, I am so tired of this cardboard that I don’t want it anymore.
NARRATOR: So the first cheetah went to build his house with cardboard. The cardboard was so heavy that he almost fainted.
- Amos, from his play The Three Baby Cheetahs and the Bad Tiger

KING SHELDON: Nomy, we are selling the kingdom. We have no money for a kingdom. I’m so sorry, Nomy.
PRINCESS NOMY: Nooo, we can’t! I love it here. [cries] Why, Daddy, why?
KING SHELDON: There’s NO reason to cry! I said I’m sorry. It’s your fault for going shopping.
- Carly, from her play The Runaway

The young playwrights of Lincoln Elementary

The young playwrights of Lincoln Elementary

JOEY: Wait, I’ve been here one whole day, and I’m just finding out that we have a basement.
MOM: [laughing] I’m going to kick your butt if you don’t start cleaning. Now get your little tushie over there.
- Jazmyne, from her play New Home

Stay tuned for more previews of plays from the rest of this year’s Young Playwrights’ Lab schools! And don’t forget to avoid the line at the box office for the 9th Annual Young Playwrights’ Festival & Gala on May 17 – order your tickets ahead! Festival tickets are available to order here; Festival & Gala tickets here.

Preview of Plays – Farmersville Elementary Edition

As we look forward to the 9th Annual Young Playwrights’ Festival and Gala (as well as AUDITIONS for the Festival – save the date for April 15!), the whimsical review of this year’s young-playwright-written plays continues! Our review takes us next to first-time YPL-ers at Farmersville Elementary:

CHICKEN: Can you just leave? You are being such a big jerk – oh wait, you’re a jerk all the time.
– Chris, from his play The Chicken Attack

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Mr. Kyle plays a breakdancing giraffe beset by young playwright zombies

STORYTELLER 1: Once upon a time, there was a land named the United States of America.
STORYTELLER 2: A land where the rivers flow and the grasses were green as the kiwis.
STORYTELLER 1: Then one day, a girl ate a kiwi and Viviana, an evil witch, put a spell on all of us.
STORYTELLER 2: We would never be people again.
STORYTELLER 1: Instead, we would become troll people under a hatch.
STORYTELLER 2: It was devastating.
– Emily, from her play Help

HUMPTY: All I want is to read with my mom, but somebody always has to ruin it, ever since seven and a half months ago!
– Jenise, from her play Humpty’s Adventure in the Land of Stars

ELSA: On the internet, Master Fluff wrote, “Two out of three cheetahs left on the Fluff Cloud got killed by a handsome, good-looking mastermind.
SPEEDY: Hey… I’m one of the three cheetahs on the Fluff Cloud. That means my parents got killed by that handsome, good-looking mastermind. NOOO!
– Jewel, from her play A Stuffed Animal’s Life

JERRY: It’s closed.
MADISON: Let’s break in.
JERRY: Do you want us to get arrested?
MADISON: No! The sign says, “Break-Ins Welcome.”
JERRY: No! It says, “Sorry, We’re Closed.”
– Tommy, from his play Twisted Time Travel

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Farmersville playwrights, eager to share their scripts

DIRECTOR: Who do you think you are? Now I might just give the part to the other actress!
PENNY: What?! Oh no, please let me be in your marvelous play!
DIRECTOR: I’ll think about it, miss, because you said my play is marvelous.
– Ari, from her play Cold Schmold

Stay tuned for more previews of plays from the rest of this year’s Young Playwrights’ Lab schools! And don’t forget to avoid the line at the box office for the 9th Annual Young Playwrights’ Festival & Gala on May 17 – order your tickets ahead! Festival tickets are available to order here; Festival & Gala tickets here.

Preview of Plays – Donegan Elementary Edition

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Donegan playwrights create a mummy scene in class

As we approach the 9th Annual Young Playwrights’ Festival and Gala, we are in the uplifting, sidesplitting process of reviewing a year’s worth of young playwright-written plays. We’ll be sharing some of our favorite excerpts from many of our favorite plays from each of the participating schools, over the next few weeks. And which ones will be produced as part of the Festival performance? You’ll have to come and find out!

We begin with favorite quotes from our Donegan Elementary Young Playwrights:

MOM: Jason, open my present – a magic phone that can fly you to places!
- Alani, from her play Christmas

KIARA: What are you doing here?
KONSTANTINA: I would never let you down. I overcame my fear!
- Piper, from her play The Skeletons That Danced

JOSHY: Hey, you may be a tough man, but I saw it first.
GMM: I’m not a man, I’m a woman.
JOSHY: Huh?
GMM: You thought I was a man – my name is Junky Princess.
JOSHY: You have a man voice.
-Sebastion, from his play Junkyard Monsters

OCEAN: [to Volleyball] Hey, you’re about to go into my body.
- Bernard, from his play The Volleyball

KEVIN: I was in detention. Hashtag YOLO!
- Jorge, from his play High School Battles

PIZZA BROTHERS: You can’t pass us, because we are Italian Karate masters!
- Markus, from his play The Broken Charger

Stay tuned for more previews of plays from the rest of this year’s Young Playwrights’ Lab schools! And don’t forget to avoid the line at the box office for the 9th Annual Young Playwrights’ Festival & Gala on May 17 – order your tickets ahead! Festival tickets are available to order here; Festival & Gala tickets here.

Insights from Farmersville Elemenatary

When asked, “What are some things you learned or discovered about yourself in Young Playwrights’ Lab?” a young playwright from Farmersville Elementary answered:
 “When I act something, I don’t have to be humiliated or have stage-fright.”

Young Playwrights’ Lab - empowering our youth, one child at a time.

Are We There Yet?

“Charlie’s Angels”– a great 70’s TV show? A decent movie from 2000? No: a  phrase that can cause groups of 3, whether they be students or parents or mixed, to imitate the poses those famous “Angels” and  recite those famous words “Hello Charlie.” Aphrase that could make a mute child become vibrant and alive. A phrase that can cause teachers, principals, and parents to remark on the change they have seen in students in the classrooms and at home.

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This fall, I was involved in my second residency at Lincoln Elementary, my first being the lead teacher.  As I began my experience, I came in with a lot of thoughts. I wanted my program to be the best, most fun, unique, etc. I had made a plan, was eager and confident in executing it.

Then I had my first class, and I learned that plans are fine until you begin. My kids were wonderful; they showed eagerness to create and would beam at the slightest compliment. However, you may dictate the course, but your kids are the ones in the driver seat. They take rest stops in activities you never though they would and speed through ones that you thought might be a little rough.  In the end, no matter how wild the ride, with enough backseat driving and faith, you will reach your destination, with kids who value the product as much as the ride.

Kyle D. Lewis

“Playwriting Our Way Through Adversity”

About two thirds of they way into our Young Playwrights’ residency at Donegan Elementary, young playwright Josue greeted us for the day with a serious expression. “Miss Emma, Mr. Josh,” he said in a grave, pre-break-up tone of voice, “I have to talk to you.”

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Let me tell you about Josue. He is a bundle of energy, incredibly intelligent, and a crazy, charismatic little charmer. Even on days when his energy and intelligence are more distracting than productive, you can’t help but love him for being so honest and expressive, whether it’s in a playwriting game or on the page.

So when Josue told us he had to drop out of the program, we were a little heart-broken.

To be honest, the Donegan kids have had a bit of a rocky residency – due to scheduling and logistics issues, we had to start later than expected, which had us pushing up against Christmas break, and we lost a total of three classes – one due to alternate after-school programming, two to the snow days. And all this was after a big gap in the middle of the program due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

????????The teaching artists and kids alike persevered in spite of adversity, and we hope that our class of young playwrights have learned not only about the value of creativity and literacy, but also the joy of working under a time crunch. Still, it was a real bummer to lose such a creative little firecracker. I know I had been looking forward to seeing what play Josue wrote.

Thursday– originally meant to be our last-day-play-sharing-and-pizza celebration, had turned into our last-day-sprinting-to-the-finish-line-of-play-writing, and as we sat the kids down to finish their plays, we were very surprised to find that Josue had re-joined us. He had been free. He had gotten permission. We still had his journal. We still had the first few lines of the play he’d started.

“So are you going to finish it?” I asked as I handed it off to him.

He gave me a look. A look that plainly said, Of course, Miss Emma, you silly teacher person.

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Made my day.

Overheard at YPL Farmersville

????????[proposing "good rules" for Young Playwrights]
JORDYN: Show good manners.
MR. KYLE: Yes! That is one of my pet peeves, when people don’t say “please,” or “thank you.” [pause]
CHRIS: [very deliberately] Thank you for that information!

[discussing what normal behavior is]
EMILY: There is no normal, actually.

[ending the first day of class]
JORDAN: I’m really happy that I signed up for this.