Coming Full Circle

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Young playwright Alycia LaLuz (left), Liberty High School

Hello, my name is Alycia, and I am a student at Liberty High School and a part of the Young Playwrights’ Lab Touchstone Theatre is running at my school. This isn’t my first time working with Touchstone. I was a part of this lab (YPL) when I was in 3rd grade, and the play I wrote was one of the few to be chosen to be produced. I also took part in a workshop when I did a summer program at Lehigh University. I have grown a lot since 3rd grade, and to have the opportunity to be a part of this Lab once again has given me a sense of life coming full circle.

When I was in 3rd grade, my teacher informed me that I was selected to take part in a workshop by a theatre called Touchstone. Being my little 9-year-old self, I instantly got excited! Growing up, I was always in love with the arts and was interested to see what it would be like to be “behind the scenes.” So throughout the workshop, I learned many things that I didn’t know; and truly enjoyed writing my OWN play. Touchstone told us that one of our plays might get chosen to be produced. Honestly, I didn’t get my hopes up because my play was going up against kids way older than me. My play was called, “The Girl Who Saved Bunnytown.” It was basically about a young girl who traveled to a different dimension and saved “Bunnytown” from “The Evil Bunny Queen.” But sure enough, after we submitted our final copies in our composition books, I was pulled out of class and Touchstone told me that my play was selected! On the day of the festival, I got dressed all nice and “walked the red carpet,” if you will. My whole family came to support me and watched  my thoughts come to life on that stage. This experience gave me an indescribable emotion of happiness. Fast forward 8 years and nothing has changed.

The Arts have always been important to me. Acting, singing, and dancing are basically my life still to this day. And in all honesty, the Young Playwrights’ Lab set that off. When I walked into drama class that day and my teacher Ms. Maniero told the class we were starting the lab, I was shocked to say the least. This lab where we played theatre games and learned playwriting skills honestly revealed to me at a young age that I loved to write. I always like to think back to the moments from the lab and the experiences that soon followed. When the first day of the YPL occurred present day, and Mrs. Mary said, “So we are going to do a thing we call ‘Check In’ at Touchstone.” So many memories came flooding back. Especially, how the women who played “The Evil Queen,” in my play threw me a “fireball” which I still have. At the end of the day, I’m just so grateful to have this opportunity to be apart of this lab once again. I feel that my ideas have matured and so has my writing and it will be so cool to see the growth of whom I have become now that I am twice the age I was when I was first in Young Playwright’s Lab.

We couldn’t find photos of Alycia from her early days of YPL, but you can see her– and “Bunnytown”– featured here! If you want to fast forward right to her, she speaks about her experiences at around 1:44 in the video.