YPT’s May 2015 Promising Playwrights come three for the price of one!
With the 2014-15 school year coming to an end, and the Young Playwrights’ Workshop’s final performance on the horizon, we wanted to honor the Workshop’s graduating seniors by featuring them as this month’s Promising Playwrights.
Two of the five seniors, Michi Chaj and Joella Roberts, were not able to join their classmates, but YPT sat down with Rosy Barrett (RB), Jorge Martinez (JM) and Evelyn Piantini (EP) to discuss their time in the Workshop and what the next few years hold.
Congratulations to all five graduating seniors of the 2014-15 Young Playwrights’ Workshop! See them onstage in The Art of Understanding, Monday, June 15, at 7pm at Source Theater. Part of the 2015 Source Festival!
YPT: Thanks for joining us! So, how do you all feel about graduating from high school soon?
RB and EP (simultaneously): Relieved.
JM: Nervous and relieved.
YPT: What are your plans for next year?
RB: I’ll be attending Trinity [Washington University].
EP: I’ll also be attending university. I’m going to Ohio: Lourdes University.
JM: And I’m gonna go to Montgomery [College] for two years, save some money, then transfer to UMD or George Mason.
YPT: Any idea what you want to study?
RB: I want to study medicine. ...I’ve always wanted to be involved with medicine. I want to become a pediatrician because I already have experience: I’ve been babysitting since I was 12, and I’ve done a program in a hospital, so I have some of the experience of how it’s gonna feel working with kids. And it’s something that I really like.
EP: I’m doing a Master’s degree in Business Administration, and then hopefully I’ll go to fashion school. ...At first I wanted to double major, but then I decided to get business first as a priority, then go to fashion school afterwards.
JM: They left me in the dust! I got nothin’. But I guess that’s part of the college experience, you know—finding out what you want to do.
YPT: What’s been the best part of the Workshop experience so far?
RB: I really like the acting part, because I feel in character—[like] how I’m able to express myself if I was whoever it is that I’m playing. That’s my favorite part.
EP: I enjoy writing a lot. It helps me build more vocabulary and use my words to express myself, like Rosy said!
JM: I also like the acting part. I’m a really reserved person, and the acting gives me a confidence boost...it’s nice.
YPT: What’s been the most challenging part of the Workshop?
RB: The writing, because—I don’t want it to be perfect, but I want it to make sense. I want people to be able to know what I’m trying to express. What I am trying to let them know [about] how my characters are. It’s kind of difficult.
EP: For me it would be acting, because...when you act you have to have that performer’s voice, and I don’t consider myself a loud person. Projecting, I guess. But it’s gotten better.
JM: For me it was the writing. I’m really prone to writer’s block and I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so if it’s not the way that I want it to be, then I just erase everything and start from the beginning. And I can never decide what to do with my writing, so the majority of the time I like to write with another person because they push me in a direction.
YPT: What’s it like writing in a group?
RB: I felt comfortable. ...When I was working with other group members, we had the same ideas. And I’m like, “Okay, that’s good,” because the more ideas they give me, [the easier it is] for me to write. I’d rather work in a group than work independently.
EP: I think it’s really cool, because in the groups I’m in we say what we want to accomplish in the scene, and then we break it in parts. We just tell the story between ourselves...and then we just write it out. And it always comes out great.
JM: Having someone to write with me is really helpful, because again I’m really prone to, like, destroying my work because I feel like it’s not good enough. So having somebody to be like, “That’s pretty good”...it just pushes me forward.
YPT: What’s one of your favorite memories from the Workshop?
JM: Mine is right after [last year’s] final performance. A lot of people were like, “Man, you were great!” And I thought that I wasn’t that great—I just thought that I did pretty mediocre. And people were like, “You’re fantastic! You’re amazing!” And it just made me feel amazing.
RB: Mine was actually during the play...when we were acting, sometimes we messed up. And I liked it how we were able to keep going, even though that’s not what we wrote down. ...I think that was really good of us: we didn’t back down, we kept going.
YPT: How is The Art of Understanding coming along?
EP: I think it’s in a good place. ...I think the story is amazing, and I will enjoy participating in it. ... We [have] an opening poem, then three different stories that “bond” together somewhat at the end, with another poem closing the play.
RB: I feel good about it! ...It’s different ideas coming together...how the character reacts to how that other person feels. Or what kind of [mental] illness that other character has.
YPT: Do you plan to continue writing/performing?
RB: I’m planning to keep writing, because I think that’s something that I should work on. Writing builds my knowledge and writing skills; it makes me a better writer and reader. So I believe in college I’ll keep writing.
EP: I think I will keep writing...I think I’ll never stop writing. ...I’ll definitely talk to people about YPT, and say how it has changed my life a lot, and my writing—just myself as a person, and me learning English.
YPT: What other extracurriculars do you have?
EP: Something I want to talk about is Global Kids. We do all sorts of stuff: we have helped the homeless; we have gone to places volunteering a lot; we have gone to leadership conferences in New York City representing Washington, DC; it’s something I do all the time.
JM: Personally, I’m kind of a prophet on the low-low—and I prophesize that this play’s gonna be amazing and everyone’s gonna love it.
YPT: Anything else you want to say to the world?
RB: Just do what you do best and have fun.
EP: Try out new things and don’t let them go.
JM: Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. That’s something I regret sometimes: not doing something because I was afraid that somebody would judge me. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
YPT: Anything to say about YPT?
RB: It’s great and it’s a fun experience. It will probably change what you would like to do in the future. I’ll probably do acting for fun, who knows?
EP: I think YPT helps a lot, in so many ways. If someone gets the opportunity to do it, just do it, because it’s something that you won’t regret.
JM: If you have the opportunity to come here to YPT after school, you should definitely do it! It’s a lot of fun, it’s a great experience and you can get community service hours here (laughs).