This year, NYCCT Teaching Artist and Education Apprentice Claire took part in our Middle School Playwriting Competition. Here, she reflects on her time working on the competition! 

I had the privilege of acting and assisting in the Middle School Playwriting Competition held by New York City Children’s Theater this past year. When I first heard about this event early in the fall, I immediately knew I wanted to be part of it. I am extremely passionate about original works by young folks and knew that this would be a great way to encourage adolescents to write and explore their ideas! I specifically find that creating new work in adolescence is a necessary avenue to encourage creativity, self-exploration, and confidence.

On the first read-through/rehearsal, our middle school playwrights got to see their work with actors for the first time! It was such a fun experience as the directors and playwrights worked together to put their words on stage. Many young folks can only imagine the day that their words will be performed or seen by others, but NYCCT allows these students to see their ideas encouraged and explored.

Claire in rehearsal with the cast, writers and directors

Claire and the cast on stage at the Staged Reading

Claire rehearsing with our young actors

I am so glad I got to see this event from two ends- as an actor and co-facilitator- because I got to interact with our young actors and playwrights as well as the professional actors involved in the reading. The student actors were so excited to be “performing on an NYC stage” and the professional actors loved originating these quirky new roles. I adore how the event brings together people of varying ages and backgrounds and allows them to learn from each other. I for one loved chatting backstage with our young actors from The New Paradigm and hearing why they love acting and how they pursue performance at home.

I am so looking forward to this next year of the Middle School Playwriting Competition to see what new works we get to put on stage!

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