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march 2012 newsletter - 350+ members!

350+ members!

As of March 2012 WLPG (Write Local. Play Global) had more than three hundred and fifty members in some forty-seven countries!  Wow!  We welcome recent members from countries such as Iceland, Russia, and Kenya.

We are also hard at work planning WLPG events in Australia and at the Kijimuna Festival in Okinawa.  As these plans are finalized, we will (of course) let everyone know.

But meanwhile, many thanks for being part of the network, and for your commitment to the value of playwriting for young audiences.  We look forward to knowing more about each of you, and the important work you're doing. 

WLPG’s New ‘Shorts’

In 2012 WLPG will introduce a new program to showcase writers for young audiences. Until now, our signature artistic showcase has been the WLPG Slams Program, which many members will recall from the 2011 ASSITEJ World Congress in Copenhagen and Malmo. In a WLPG Slam, the audience hears playwrights read excerpts of their own work, in their own language. It’s a fantastic way to really hear a writer’s voice.

In 2012, we will introduce a new program – the WLPG Shorts. A WLPG Shorts Program is essentially the curation and public reading of short ten-minute plays within a festival or event. These plays are written specifically for that festival/conference/symposium/event and respond to the theme of the event. The Shorts Program is designed to give exposure in particular to young and/or emerging writers at large gatherings of their performing arts peers. If the writers are able to attend, mentoring opportunities are also offered in terms of small group meetings with established playwrights and directors.

The target audience for plays can be from young children to young adults, although the audience for WLPG Shorts readings will usually be adult. The readings may last 1 or 1 ½ hours and move at a fast pace, with four plays being read in a one-hour session.

We will be posting guidelines soon about the whole process, from submissions to running the readings to documentation after the event. We encourage WLPG members to consider having an official WLPG Shorts Program as part of the artistic programming of their festivals – if you’re interested in having a WLPG Shorts Program, contact us at

This newsletter was sent on March 20, World Theatre for Young Audiences Day. 

Suzanne Lebeau's message for World Theater for Young Audiences day (March 20)

Canadian playwright and WLPG member Suzanne Lebeau was asked by ASSITEJ to write a message for World Theater for Young Audiences day, March 20. Her searching and thoughtful message explores the nature of truth and lying in theatre.

Read Suzanne’s World Theater for Young Audiences day message.

Take a Child to the Theatre

ASSITEJ President Yvette Hardie from South Africa sketches out the three year campaign to make the power of live theater available to more and more children and young people: Take a Child to the Theater Today (and everyday).

Read Yvette’s message.

 How Theatre for Young People Can Save the World

US Playwright and WLPT member Lauren Gunderson was asked by WLPG co-editor Kim Peter Kovac to write an essay to mark this day.  Her insightful and celebratory essay calls TYA ‘truly powerful, hilarious, bold, engaging, surprising theater that just might save the world.’

Read Lauren’s essay.


"Don't Call It Sweet" by Sarah Coleman

Why are we compelled to use words such as “sweet” and “cute”when describing theater with and for youth? What is the lasting impact of these descriptions on our perception of Theater for Young Audiences (TYA), theater education and applied theater? Sarah Coleman, an MFA student currently enrolled in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities at The University of Texas at Austin (UT), argues for a greater awareness and respect for TYA.

Find out more.

Gabriel Jason Dean wins outstanding TYA play award in the USA

WLPG member Gabriel Jason Dean has been named the winner of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Theater for Young Audiences Playwriting Award for his play The Transition of Doodle Pequeno.  The play was named second place for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting Award, the first TYA play to place that highly.

Find out more.

Want to get a news feed on the latest WLPG news and newsletters?

You can subscribe to an RSS news feed here.

Google Translate on Write Local. Play Global.

We have incorporated Google’s website translator throughout the site so you can view automatic translations of WLPG content in more than 50 languages.

Find out more.


Interplay Europe – Festival of Young Playwrights 2012 in Buitrago, Spain

From 29 June to 8 July 2012 “Interplay Europe – Festival of Young Playwrights” will take place in Buitrago, near Madrid, Spain's capital. It will be organized by Interplay Spain. The participation of up to 50 young playwrights and 25 tutors from 20 European countries is anticipated, and they will share days full of script-discussions, workshops, rehearsed readings and theatre shows. Young playwrights, aged between 18 and 26, who are interested in this festival are invited to contact their national Interplay representative.

Find out more.

Call for Papers: 2nd International Theatre for Children and Young People Researchers and Critics Forum, Buenos Aires, 2012

There is a call for papers for this international forum that will take place on 16-20 July, 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Organized by the Theatre for Children and Young People Independent Practitioners Association (ATINA - Argentina), in collaboration with the Theatre Researchers and Critics Association (AINCRIT - Argentina), and the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network (ITYARN), this may be of interest for the many WLPG members who are also involved in research into writing for young audiences.

Find out more.

Let’s hear from you

Let us know what members are doing and promote their work to our growing international audience:

  • ·       Does your theatre have a commitment to developing new work? If so, let us know and we’ll post the information     

And remember:

  • ·       You can now search our diverse Community
  • ·       You can now subscribe to an RSS news feed of WLPG news here.
  • ·       And don’t forget – our search engine

Please keep us informed via the inform us page, or simply email us at

Best Wishes,

Deirdre, Tony, and Kim

Founders/Editors:  Deirdre Kelly Lavrakas, Tony Mack, Kim Peter Kovac                        


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