by alina basil
For WHS students, extra-curricular activities include sports, clubs and musical groups, but sophomore Alexa Derman spends her free time doing something else: writing. Derman recently earned the opportunity to work with the Advanced Playwriting Workshop to write her own full-length play.
According to Derman, she became a part of this reknowned NYC playwriting workshop, which offers a free weekly writing class that meets on Tuesdays from October through May, after her application was accepted in November.
The organization with which Derman works, Young Playwrights Inc., strives to develop the skills of New York City-area playwrights under the age of 18 by encouraging creative expression and advocating a network within the theater community.
According to youngplaywrights.org, the course "provides an extraordinary opportunity for the expansion and exercise of the playwriting craft, exploration of establishment and alternative writing forms, collaboration and interaction with other young dramatists and intensive study with distinguished master artists."
Derman said her love of playwriting evolved from a childhood love of books and reading. Eventually, this passion helped her develop a keen interest in creating her own tales. "I just wrote down the stories I wanted to read, and that’s still my mentality about writing," said Derman.
Derman attends weekly sessions in New York City with the organization, and is working on her first full-length play.
"Since I usually don't know the ending until I get there, it's almost like reading a book, as I never know what's going to happen next," said Derman.
The organization that Derman is working with encourages students to move out of their comfort zones with their writing, something that she is currently foc
Her experiences with the organization have helped her mature as a writer. While pitching ideas for future plays, Derman was encouraged to pursue a more realistic setting, rather than her other ideas, which were more theatrical and fantasy-based.
Said Derman about her recent experience with playwriting, "It’s quite challenging, but it’s fun overall."