Cheltenham Elementary Stages Virtual Playwright Festival
This past Tuesday, 20 Cheltenham Elementary student playwrights saw professional actors perform excerpts and/or scenes of their work during the annual Playwrights Festival (albeit virtual). The third and fourth grade playwrights have been creating since February as part of the Philadelphia Young Playwrights (PYP) program, and received real-time feedback on their work from the actors. The students met weekly with CES teacher Gerald Aungst and PYP Teaching Artists Maryruth Stine and BJ Tindal to learn the craft of playwriting and develop seven scripts. Cheltenham's longtime partnership with PYP in all seven of our schools aims to help students develop and express their own voices through writing and to celebrate their words and ideas.
“Playwriting is a lot about communicating and collaborating,” Stine said. “So it is cool to see how the ideas connect and expand in the students’ creativity!”
The annual festival is normally performed on stage at the school, but this year the performance was virtual so classes and parents could watch online. Local professional actors Camille Young, Emily Moylan, and Marissa Kennedy joined the teachers in performing excerpts from the student plays.
Tuesday’s program included excerpts or scenes from seven plays
Double Threat — by Ava Billa, Lyric Brown, Ava Henry, and Sophia Samad
Dragons — by Cameron Brown, Kayleigh Frank, Arion Mack, Mikala Robinson, and Oshae Roebuck
Dogs Playing Poker — by Laila Amachi, Lyric Brown, and Nylah Raymond
The Blue Cave — by Kayleigh Frank, Logan McGruder, Sylvina Waleh, and Makenzy Williams
Elsa’s Big Adventure — by Josh Augustin, Isaiah Holovachuk, Eliana Irizarry, and Samyah Taylor
Dragons vs. Unicorns — by Emily Bieryla, Jalen Hunte, Benjamin Keyser, and Eloisa Woodyard