Paul Schad is an eleventh grader at Chelsea School and a featured playwright in the upcoming New Play Festival. His play, Tim the Sloth, will be performed on April 23 at GALA Hispanic Theatre.
While Paul is a very talented writer, his favorite subjects are math and science. He says, "I'm more of a math person. I like to solve puzzles." In his free time he enjoys hanging out with his family - which includes two brothers, a sister and a nephew on the way - and playing video games. He also has "a lot of unique animals, like turtles, rabbits and honeybees."
Before participating in YPT's In-School Playwriting Program as a tenth grader, Paul had written short stories and poems. However, Tim the Slothwas his first play. He says of his experience in the In-School Playwriting Program, "It was fun and it was a very unique experience and it was very hands on."
Tim the Sloth is a play about the relationship between Tim, a man-eating sloth, and Mr. Mills, his beloved yet delicious-looking roommate. Paul was inspired by his fondness for sloths and by his English teacher, the real life Mr. Mills. He says, "I wanted to have my teacher in my play in a funny way."
Paul says of his teacher, "Mr. Mills is in a joking mood and the character is a lot like him. Mr. Mills and I have a good teacher-student relationship and we're good friends. We have a lot of inside jokes that came out in the play." When Mr. Mills sees the play, Paul says, "he's probably going to be laughing a lot!"
Paul never imagined that YPT would produce his play. Describing the moment he found out he had been selected as a finalist, he says, "I was really surprised, and I wasn't really even expecting it. I was really excited. I didn't want anyone to know at first because the play wasn't fully done yet and there was still a chance it wouldn't [be produced]. I didn't know you guys liked it this much."
Paul's favorite part of preparing for the New Play Festival has been attending rehearsals of his play. "I really liked watching the actors and how they were doing it," he says. "It was fun." He is looking forward to "seeing my play actually up there [on stage] and seeing something I did in front of other people that can actually see it."
When audience members watch Tim the Sloth, Paul wants them "to enjoy and have a good laugh about it."
Participating in YPT's programs has impacted the way Paul approaches writing in school. "Now when I when I do my writing in school," he says, "I try to do it as creatively as I can." It has also helped him recognize "that there are things I can do [to make my writing more successful]. Like not leaving things until the last minute actually does pay off now and then."
In the future, Paul plans to pursue a career in computer science or forensic science and he is considering staying involved in theater in his spare time.
You won't want to miss Tim the Sloth and four other plays on April 23. Paul encourages everyone to come to an evening of "plays written by a bunch of kids that have daring themes from man-eating sloths to a crime story with a twist." Learn more about the New Play Festival plays and playwrights here!