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Myers Students Collaborate to Win Playwriting Contest at Philadelphia Young Playwrights Annual Festival

myers pyp winnersMyers Elementary students Eli Keitt, Farrah Stewart, Phillip Abiola, and Zoie Scruggs collaborated to win the elementary school playwriting contest at the recent Philadelphia Young Playwrights (PYP) annual playwriting and monologue festival with their work “Know Your Enemy.”

Proud does not even begin to describe how I feel about our students' accomplishments.  Their creativity and excitement shines through in their play,” said teacher Jaime Osea. “Each time the group met they came with more ideas and determination, always respecting the ideas brought to the table by their fellow playwrights.  Our playwrights faced all the challenges brought to us by the pandemic. Their passion for this piece made each hurdle easy to overcome. The message of their play shows how kind and caring each playwright is. I would not be surprised if one, if not all, end up as career playwrights/authors.”

“Know Your Enemy” is the story of Se ("Say"), a martial arts teacher and god who struggles with the idea of being the future king. His fears become reality quickly as his father dies around his twelfth birthday. Se and his family and friends are shocked by the sudden passing and soon realize the death was no accident, and caused by someone he knows. Se soon finds himself in the spirit world, as the one who killed his father has come after him to take over as queen. With the help of his close friends and special shapeshifting powers, the battle ensues to capture the one responsible for Se's father's death. In the end, love and friendship prevail over evil. 

In all, Cheltenham School District students claimed six first place winners - three in the elementary school play category, one in the middle school monologue category, and two in the high school playwriting category. Each of CSD’s seven schools claimed a placewinner. The work of six CSD winners from the playwright and monologue contests will be performed on YouTube as part of the PYP’s virtual triple-bill SaturPLAY on Saturday, Dec. 11.

Each year, PYP invites students to submit their plays to the annual playwriting festival. Plays are considered by the literary committee—a collection of nearly 70 program alumni, artists, staff, teachers, and others—who read and write individualized responses to every play. Literary committee members recommend a number of outstanding plays to be considered for further consideration by two additional groups of readers, pre-final committee and final committee. At the final committee, the panel chooses winning plays, including those that will be produced for public presentations. Those students are invited to continue to revise and develop their plays in partnership with theater professionals for production, a series we call the Play Development Series.