Darius Adventure at Philadelphia Young Playwrights

Darius Adventure at Philadelphia Young Playwrights

I have been placed at Philadelphia Young Playwrights for my internship through Bloomberg Arts Internship, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and Work Ready. I have been involved with this nonprofit organization since March of this year,  when I was 1 of 17 winners of the Young Voices Monologue Festival. Additionally, I serve as an active member of the Youth Council where my role is to be an ambassador for the program in my school and community where I enhance my leadership skills through hosting events, mentoring younger playwrights, and adjudicating our play writing competition. However, I have not been behind the scenes in the office until this summer internship began. This has been my third week and so far I have see the organization in a new and exciting way, which is not often said about an office space.

The responsibilities that were given to me so far has been challenging but also fun, giving me the fuel to push through it. The first two weeks I was reading play submissions for annual play writing competition. I was charged to read 10 plays written by 8th grade students and had to provide a thorough one page written feedback to show that I took the time to hear their voice. Secondly, it required me putting some thought into the possibility of each play getting professionally produced.

This week I was a mentor in PYP’s one week long program called Play-A-Day where children ranging from 3rd grade to 12th grade come in from 10am to 3pm Monday through Friday. When they arrive they are given a warm up prompt to help them wake up and get ready to be creative. Each day has a theme that then relates to what kind of scenes of plays the students will be writing. For example, on Wednesday I led an exercise relating to that day’s theme “A Day Without Words”. For my exercise I had the students first line up according to birthday month, then birthday month and day, finally by shoe. They had to do these first three activities with no words to get the children into the idea of limitations. I then had the students do another short exercise before I gave them a writing prompt. The exercise was that the children had pretend to that they no longer have hands and try to get up from sitting on the floor. Afterwards i then gave them their prompt which was to write a scene continuing an old one with dialogue only using 3 words at a time.

So far I am enjoying my experience with PYP. The employees are very nice and helpful. They try to joke around with each other when they can to keep everyone smiling because every job is a stressful one. Everyone knows each other and try to socialize as much as possible. The good vibes that are spread across the organization encourages me to continue working through what is assigned for me to do. The next upcoming weeks are unclear and I do not know what exactly lays ahead but I do believe that I can and will be able to get it done and have fun while doing it.

Darius Purnell