By Adam Hetrick, Playbill.com
Young Playwrights Inc., the non-profit organization founded by Stephen Sondheim in 1981 to nurture the work of playwrights 18 and under, will reopen its doors this month after losing its home to a devastating fire last year.
Following the Nov. 20, 2011, fire, employees have been working from home to keep the 30-year-old program, which also advocates playwriting in city classrooms and aims to improve literacy and creative expression, going. Young Playwrights Inc.’s renovated home will now feature a flexible rehearsal space that doubles as a performance venue for readings. The organization’s office spaces have also been remodeled.
In addition, Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang(Chinglish, M. Butterfly) has been named the new board president of the organization.
“I’m honored to assume the Board Presidency of Young Playwrights Inc., following in the distinguished footsteps of founder Stephen Sondheim and previous leaders such as Alfred Uhry,” Hwang said in a statement. “YPI was built on a simple and powerful truth: that talent and love for theater are not constrained by age. Playwrights ages eighteen and under need a theatre of their own, where they can have access to professional experience and mentoring. In our current digital age, the experience of live theatre has become even more valuable, which makes YPI’s mission even more important. I look forward to working with YPI’s staff and board to help shape the future of the American Theatre.”
The organization also elected Barbara Wallner to its board. She and Hwang join returning members Janet Brenner, Sheri M. Goldhirsch, Murray Horwitz, Julia Jarcho and John McNamara.
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