During her junior year in high school, Emma Q. Baxter wrote a coming-of-age comedy for the Paula Vogel Mentors Project, a fellowship program run by Philadelphia Young Playwrights. The project pairs aspiring student playwrights with a professional playwright mentor for one year.
Emma wrote NEARLY FAMOUS from start to finish and then, in May, she was partnered with Found Theater Company to produce a full production of the work. Together with Writers Theatre of New Jersey they brought the play to life this July at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Philadelphia and again at the Roxbury (New Jersey) Performing Arts Center in Emma’s hometown.
(Photo: Courtesy of Walter F. Rodriguez)
According to Emma, being part of the Paula Vogel Mentors Project “was life-changing… I felt like my work was valuable and important— around every corner was someone asking a serious question about my play or consulting me for a major decision about the production. I was amazed with every step of the process at how much everyone involved with the project was truly invested in my play and cared about what I had to say.”
“Saturday night was the night of a lifetime. It was so incredible for me to watch my words performed on stage, and having so many people I know and love in the audience only amplified the surreal experience… Seeing Nearly Famous come to life and be appreciated was an indescribably magical experience.”
If your high school creative writing program includes play writing, why not see if a local theater group would be willing to mentor one of your students all the way to DEBUT?