Founded in 1987 by Adele Magner, and led today by Executive Producing Director Glen Knapp, Philadelphia Young Playwrights is an award-winning program that taps the potential of youth and inspires learning through playwriting in more than 50 public and private K-12 schools each year. A leader in the region’s educational programs for youth for 25 years and built upon its primary belief that all students have something important and valuable to say, Young Playwrights has enriched the Greater Philadelphia community, touching the lives of thousands of students, teachers and parents for the past twenty years. Since 1987, approximately 60 professional playwrights have led workshops, and nearly all of Philadelphia’s professional theater companies have participated by performing, producing, or directing student works. More than 60,000 young people have participated directly as playwrights and audience members, seeing their work produced in class or by professionals. Young Playwrights’ Literary Committee includes more than 60 educators, writers, parents, and former Young Playwrights students who read and critique each student script.
General George G. Meade School Student and Teacher Team Win Adele Magner Memorial Award
To Be Honored at Philadelphia Young Playwrights' Ceremony and Fundraiser June 7
Winning team includes student Jamekea S. Lee, teacher Lori Odum and teaching artist Dwight Wilkins
WHEN: Monday, June 7th from 6 – 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Community College of Philadelphia at the Rotunda in the Mint Building
1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia
WHO: Students, teachers, and teaching artists from nominated teams; previous award-winners and the distinguished host committee which includes Patricia del Rio, Virginia & Harvey Kimmel, Glen Knapp, Aron Magner, Carol & Alan Magner, Thelma & Harvey Reese and Nancy Stuski, and more. Guests will be available for interviews.
INFO: RSVP to Lindsay Mauck by calling (215) 665-9226 or emailing Lindsay [at] PhillyYoungPlaywrights [dot] org. Press RSVP to emaleigh [at] canarypromo [dot] com. For more information, visit www.PhillyYoungPlaywrights.org.
WHAT: Philadelphia Young Playwrights will celebrate the recipients of the 2010 Adele Magner Memorial Award (AMMA) during a special ceremony and fundraising event at the Rotunda in the Mint Building of Community College of Philadelphia on Monday, June 7 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. The Adele Magner Memorial Award — established to honor the memory of the Young Playwrights’ founder, Adele Magner — will be presented to teacher Lori Odum, teaching artist Dwight Wilkins, and 8th grade student Jamekea S. Lee, representing General George G. Meade in North Philadelphia, for the team’s exemplary collaboration, perseverance and transformation in the Young Playwrights’ program.
Each year, Philadelphia Young Playwrights nominates exceptional teams consisting of a student, a teacher and a teaching artist for whom Young Playwrights has made a significant difference in their lives. The Adele Magner Memorial Award event will sustain and advance Adele Magner’s enduring legacy as Young Playwrights’ celebrates both the winning and nominated teams, in an evening featuring AMMA winners from previous years, Young Playwrights’ supporters and friends of Adele Magner. The benefit will also feature a cocktail hour, hors d’oeuvres, and a performance of selected student work.
This year’s venue, Community College of Philadelphia, offers special significance to the organization. A former-professor, Magner founded the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival in 1984 at the College when she was searching for material for her acting classes and discovered that there were few texts dedicated to the voices of young people. Philadelphia Young Playwrights began its first full year of operation in the 1987–88 school year. Young Playwrights Board and Host Committee member Samuel Hirsch, Ed.D., is also currently Vice President for Student Affairs at the Community College.
The impact of Young Playwrights’ multifaceted and in-depth classroom program is evident in the story of the winning 2010 team which includes Young Playwrights’ teaching artist Dwight Wilkins and General George G. Meade School teacher Lori Odum and Meade School student playwright Jamekea S. Lee – all of whom credit their experience in the Young Playwrights’ program with not only cultivating their classroom skills and abilities, but developing who they are as individuals.
Jamekea S. Lee is now an 8th grade student at the Meade School, where she first elected to take Lori Odum’s playwriting class in 2009 as a 7th grader. She says of her experience in the program, “I have ideas, and I can share them when I write them down. I discovered that I can say what I think … I’m not shy anymore.”
Through her playwriting class, Lee penned I Should Have Never Changed!, a play about self-exploration and social identity, which was among the first place winning middle and high school student plays selected from nearly 760 submissions to the 2009 Annual Playwriting Festival.IShould Have Never Changed! was later presented at the 2009 New Voices: Workshop Productions at Temple University and performed by undergraduate student actors in the Department of Theater as part of Young Playwrights’ 2009-10 Play Development Series.
Literacy teacher Lori Odum and theater professional Dwight Wilkins have been working collaboratively for the past three years. A long-time supporter of Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Odum regularly integrates Young Playwrights into her curriculum through the organization’s core program of classroom playwriting workshops. Odum has been a teacher for nearly 23 years, working in the School District of Philadelphia for 17 years and at the Meade School for the past 10 years. Odum is now a two-time AMMA winner, having also won the honor for her outstanding work in 2007. In addition to his work as a teaching artist, Wilkins is also the Director of Education at Philadelphia’s InterAct Theatre Company. He is very active in Young Playwrights throughout the year and co-produces the organization’s annualYoung Voices High School Monologue Festival.
Philadelphia Young Playwrights mourned the passing of Adele Magner in 2000. In the summer of 2001, the Board hired Glen Knapp as Executive Producing Director. Knapp presently leads Young Playwrights as Executive Producing Director and continues to work closely with the Board to build program excellence and broaden visibility and community support.
Thelma Reese, friend of Adele and founding board member of Young Playwrights remarks, “[Adele’s] vision was so clear. She networked tirelessly to make this idea come to life because it was so important to her. Young Playwrights allowed her to continue to create theatrewhile still fulfilling her commitment as a teacher.”
Since Philadelphia Young Playwrights founding, more than 60,000 students of diverse backgrounds from around the Greater Philadelphia region have been motivated to share their stories through playwriting. Thousands more have been given the opportunity to experience the power of playwriting and theatre as collaborators and audiences for students’ plays.
The Adele Magner Memorial Award host committee includes: Bobbi Block, Patricia del Rio, Samuel Hirsch, Amy Hodgdon, Debra Kahn, Virginia and Harvey Kimmel,Glen Knapp, Aron Magner, Carol and Alan Magner, Marsha & Nate Pincus, Nancy Posel and Frank Elliot, Thelma and Harvey Reese,and Nancy Stuski.
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Emaleigh Doley, emaleigh [at] canarypromo [dot] com
Megan Wendell, megan [at] canarypromo [dot] com
Melissa Brice, melissa [at] canarypromo [dot] com
Canary Promotion, (215) 690-4065