Today we’d like to introduce you to Sofia Miller.
Sofia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In terms of when I first began writing, I’m told that when I was in preschool, I would pick up books and make up my own stories from the pictures instead of listening to my mom read them. Storytelling and writing is something that has always been a strong presence throughout my life.
My plan involves the physical barriers that we often let divide us and how those divisions can heal. I don’t actually remember when the idea came to me, but I’ve always been interested in “what if” stories that personify intangible thoughts or ideas. Life and death are both fairly tangible, but I wanted to explore who they would appear as, and how they would interact with each other.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I am extremely thankful that Ms. Gapusan, my teacher, and Ms. Wendell brought Playwrights Project to our classroom. It was such a wonderful opportunity for all of the students to be creative and have their voices heard. In writing my play, I learned to pay attention to conflict and strain between characters (or between a character, if there’s an internal struggle) to engage the audience.
During the revision process with Thelma de Castro, I learned that in a good play, even the smallest lines play a part toward conveying a larger message. I am so grateful for this incredible learning experience and the opportunity to work with professionals to improve my writing.
After seeing my play, I hope the audience will take away the importance of seeing beyond differences in order to come to an understanding of one another.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Playwrights Project – what should we know?
Playwrights Project is a nonprofit organization devoted to arts education. Our mission is to advance literacy, creativity, and communication by empowering individuals to voice their stories through playwriting programs and theatre productions.
Playwrights Project reaches up to 10,000 people annually through programs proven to teach the power of spoken and written language, nurture promising young writers, develop theatre artists and audiences, champion thoughtful communication, encourage creative problem solving, inspire lifelong learning, cultivate empathy, honor wisdom and past experience, deepen a sense of belonging, and strengthen connections between and within communities.
Playwrights Project accomplishes these goals by providing playwriting workshops in schools and underserved communities, producing community readings, conducting the annual California Young Playwrights Contest for writers under the age of 19, and professionally producing winning scripts in its annual festival of Plays by Young Writers.
Sofia’s script was written in a playwriting residency in Arlene Gapusan’s classroom at Black Mountain Middle School and was subsequently chosen as a winner of the 2017 California Young Playwrights Contest. Her play “A Life or Death Situation” will be presented as a staged reading during Program B of Plays by Young Writers, from January 18-27th, 2018.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Sofia expresses thanks to her teacher Ms. Gapusan, and Playwrights Project Teaching Artist Wendy Wendell, who led the playwriting residency in her classroom. She also credits her dramaturg Thelma DeCastro for aiding in the revision process of her play.
- Tickets to Plays by Young Writers range from $20-$60
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- Phone: 8583842970
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Geri Goodale of Reminisce Photography