I've had the pleasure of teaching playwriting at the International High School at Prospect Heights through the Theater Development Fund for many years now; all of the students at IHSPH are recent immigrants and English Language Learners, and they come from all over the world. I'm always so inspired by how their plays imaginatively explore and redefine the American Dream, so I was overjoyed when Yasmeen Khan, an education reporter from WNYC, invited some of my IHSPH students to share their work at a special event at The Greene Space last week dedicated to young immigrants and their stories.
One of my amazing young playwrights, Ramatoulaye Bah (who goes by Rama), shared a monologue that she wrote this past fall:
And another IHSPH playwright that I'm working with this year, Gilno Snip, and Dave Doirin (who I worked with last year) performed a rap that they wrote and recorded with Mark Malacapay, a social worker who developed a hip-hop support group for young men at IHSPH:
The entire program was incredible, also featuring students who had developed their storytelling skills with The Moth, as well as young poets from Lincoln Center's Poet-Linc Program. Here's a link to last week's program at the Greene Space in its entirety:
I'm so grateful to Yasmeen, WNYC, and the staff of the Greene Space for giving all of these remarkable young people the opportunity to tell their stories. The audience was a mix of students from international schools from across the city, as well as the teachers and teaching artists that work with them, and the raw emotion and sheer joy felt palpable in the room as the many different stories were shared. I was so very proud of Rama, Gilno, and Dave! I'm hoping that the WNYC and Greene Space staff might consider making the event an annual thing!