The Playwriting Program, conducted inside detention facilities, is a two week intensive program during which youth meet with a mentor for over 30-hours to write an original two-character, one-act play based on their greatest fear or wish in life. During this time, the youth utilizes the world of metaphor to create non-human characters, giving a mask to tell autobiographical stories. Through the power of inhabiting this metaphorical world with a mentor, the youth is able to self-reflect and explore the inner artist and self. Through the self-assessment process, the young people develop the courage and fortitude to realistically evaluate their past life choices, identify their strengths, and begin making practical changes for their futures.
“I feel that the way I wrote my play came straight from the heart. It was really important to me. I learned that what you write can make people understand where you're coming from. I learned that everyone has different opinions and thoughts...” - Marcus, Playwriting Graduate
Each playwriting workshop concludes with a staged reading of the plays by professional actors before a live audience comprising of the youth’s parents, peers, teachers, caseworkers and invited members of the public. These readings have proven to be pivotal: for many participants, it is the first time they have experienced success or had their accomplishments publicly recognized. Their newly discovered skills, their exposure to artists who have achieved success in their chosen fields, and completing a play, all work together to undermine their despair and to offer these incarcerated youth hope for their future.
Once the youth has completed the Playwriting Program they are excited and proud to wear a new label… “Artist.”
To learn more about our Playwriting mentors and how to apply contact;