Last year, we asked young playwrights in NY, NJ and CT to write 10 minute plays based on the theme: How do we use technology to connect with others? 

Five grand prize winner’s had their plays staged as readings at Theatre Row and at the New Paradigm Theater in Connecticut! Today, Iris, who’s play Speaking was featured at our reading tells us about her Middle School Playwriting Competition Experience! 

My play, Speaking, was inspired by my cousin, Matthew, an autistic 9-year old boy who learned how to type and how to communicate with the world about his feelings and his pleasures.

He showed me how, when he wanted to articulate himself, he could take control of his body and that his willpower could be stronger than any disorder. He is smart, capable, inspired, and thoughtful about the pains of Autism.

I wrote this play to show people that anyone has the power to take control of their lives. What I want people to take from the play is the fact that people with Autism are not incapable. I have learned from experience that people need to be told otherwise, or else they may never change their conceptions.

I would like my play to be part of the movement of spreading hope for a future in all of our lives, no matter how difficult. The play deals with both hope and fear: Hope for the people who have the willpower to take control of themselves but fear that someone will come and take from them what is rightfully theirs. People who perceive themselves as stronger sometimes take advantage of others to the point of stealing even their words.

Hope, however, is for people in the audience. The people that I wrote this play for, who will understand the stereotypes and join the movement.

Interested in finding out more about the Middle School Playwriting Competition?