Young playwrights in Philadelphia sharpening theatre & technology skills with help from AT&T

Aspiring playwrights in grades 7-12 will spend this week exploring the ways technology intersects and influences playwriting and theatre-making thanks, in part, to a $5,000 contribution from AT&T.

During the Theatre and Technology Camp, which runs July 10-14, participants will go on fieldtrips to write plays inspired by technology; learn and apply the methods of guest artists who are using technology in their own artistic practice; and experiment with technology on site at Young Playwrights to create an original piece of 21st century theatre, according to Lisa Nelson-Haynes, Executive Director of Philadelphia Young Playwrights.

For Haynes, the camp is an opportunity for students to dig into areas they are already exploring in their writing.

"A lot of the work submitted to Philly Young Playwrights incorporates technology as a part of the plot line. We've read work that includes everything from how social media impacts our relationships, to drones being featured as actual characters. We're excited to partner with AT&T and local theater artists to teach our students how to actualize these plot elements on the performance stage."

The students will learn how technology can:

• change how to write a play and/or write plays with others;

• change how an audience interacts with plays and performances;

• inspire the themes and structure of playmaking; and

• play a central role in the performance.

At the end of the program, participants will have the option of sharing a media-rich learning statement or an excerpt of theatrical work with an invited audience.

Joseph Divis, AT&T's assistant vice president for External Affairs, said the program not only fits into the company's AT&T Aspire initiative, it's aligned with the company's business profile, too.

"At AT&T, we're investing to be a global leader in the telecommunications, media and technology industries, producing and delivering content that customers want to watch wherever they are,” Divis said. “We support the Young Playwrights because we want kids to learn the skills that companies like ours will need. We can't wait to see the final projects."

The programs will be held at Philadelphia Young Playwrights, 1219 Vine Street, Philadelphia.

For more information about Philadelphia Young Playwrights, visit www.phillyyoungplaywrights.org.

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