Promising Playwright, February 2013
Christina Schneider is a multi-talented eighth grade student at H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program. She plays competitive field hockey and soccer, has acted in a school production and at Synetic Theater's summer camp and can even pogo stick with no hands! When she's not participating in these activities, she enjoys reading, shopping and hanging out with friends. She is also a featured playwright in this year's New Play Festival. Her play, New Beginnings and Second Chances, will be produced on April 23.
When Christina learned that her play is going to be produced in this year'sNew Play Festival, she was so excited that she couldn't believe it was really happening. The experience of being a featured playwright became real for her while having her photo taken at the New Play Festival kick-off party.
Christina has written poems and stories, but she had never written a play before she participated in YPT's In-School Playwriting Program at H-B Woodlawn. "This is the first time I've done anything so original," she said about her experience with YPT. "It was awesome! They led you through every step of the creative and writing process, which helped me a lot."
Coming up with an idea for her play was the most challenging part of Christina's playwriting process, but writing dialogue came easily to her. She advises other playwrights to "write about something you can relate to so it comes easily!"
Although deciding what to write about was initially a challenge, she was inspired to write a play about "the devastating news of Hurricane Sandy's impact on the families in New York and New Jersey." She decided to focus on the effect of the hurricane on one teenage girl and her mother, as both characters struggle to rebuild their lives and assert their roles in the family.
Christina hopes that the professional actors, director and designers are impacted by the experience of working on her play. She says, "Since my play is about a serious topic, I hope they portray how devastating this must have been, and use that in other pieces they work on."
Christina is looking forward to seeing her play come to life on stage, and to seeing the other featured playwrights' plays. She hopes that while watching her play, the audience will feel "the emotion that these two (characters) are both going through. And possibly even relate to them, if they've ever had to make decisions like this or if they have gone through such a destructive natural disaster."