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.
Philadelphia Young Playwrights Appoints Barrymore-Nominated Director David O’Connor to New Post as Resident Director
PHILADELPHIA – Barrymore Award-nominated director David O’Connor has been appointed to serve as the Resident Director of Philadelphia Young Playwrights, the 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. Having spent over 8 years working with students in the Young Playwrights program, O’Connor will serve as a consulting director, overseeing the upcoming Young Voices Monologue Festival and inspiring young writers to reach their full potential as artists.
“David really embodies the Young Playwrights organizational philosophy,” says Glen Knapp, Philadelphia Young Playwrights’ Executive Producing Director. Knapp explains the importance of having established, professional artists connect to the students as creative teammates. “David understands that if we approach students with respect and authenticity, we will get better work and the students will thrive.”
“I’ve seen first hand what it means for the playwrights to come into this program and not be treated like students but to be treated like working artists – not just taken seriously but pushed and challenged. Their ideas are not only listened to but deeply explored by a collaborative group of people. It’s life changing for anybody,” adds O’Connor.
O’Connor is a Barrymore Award-nominated director who has been a teaching artist with Philadelphia Young Playwrights since 2004. As a professional artist in the Philadelphia region, his credits include directing for Arden Theatre Company, PlayPenn, Hedgerow Theatre, the Philly Fringe and Lantern Theater Company, where he received a Barrymore nomination for “Master Harold”…and the boys and was named Philadelphia Weekly’s Director of the Year (2006).
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