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DYPF 2024 Performance and Recognition Night
Thursday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. Seating is general admission. 

2023-2024 DYPF Theme:

“Historical moments are created by historical opportunities.” 
--Coach Benjamin “Pops” Coffey, from Layon Gray’s Kings of Harlem

Playwright Layon Gray was inspired by the story of the New York Rens, an African-American-owned, all-Black men’s basketball team that dominated the game in the 1920s and 1930s during the Jim Crow era.  In Gray’s play Kings of Harlem, basketball Coach Pops Coffey speaks the words, “Historical moments are created by historical opportunities” to motivate his team of Black athletes when they are given the unprecedented invitation to compete in the World Championship of Professional Basketball against the champions from the whites-only league.   The team recognizes that their play on the court makes them both a target of criticism and racial discrimination as well as an inspiration to others, demonstrating to all races that Blacks are able to compete and win at the highest level. 

Whether fighting injustice, seeking a solution to a problem, using imagination and innovation to create a pathway to a better life for others, or taking other risks to improve their own or others’ circumstances, men and women have made history—family history, community history, or world history—by taking action when the opportunity or need presented itself.  Often the taking of action added a great burden to their lives or the lives of their loved ones, yet this burden was offset by these individuals’ vision for a better tomorrow.  This year’s DYPF theme is as follows:  Write a play about a character or characters who encounter(s) a challenge or opportunity and must make a difficult choice to take action, even when a positive outcome is not guaranteed.*  The play must be a two-character play that is 5-10 pages in length. 

*Though not a requirement, playwrights are welcome to use real figures from history, or create fictional characters who take part in a real historical event, as part of their play.  DTC encourages playwrights who do use historical events or figures in their play to use research as a support for their writing. 

2022-2023 Finalists

The Ladder Escape by Morgan Baker of William Penn High School

Happy New Day by Danielle Chapman of St. Elizabeth High School

Football Practice by Mackenzie Lane of Charter School of Wilmington

Hope Prevails by Lauren MacAllister of St. Elizabeth High School

One of Us by Jane Oommen of Charter School of Wilmington

2022-2023 Honorable Mentions

Lifting Up Others by Spencer Camlin of Sussex Central High School
Reconnected by Emily Howard of Charter School of Wilmington
Shattered Spirals by Sayuri Karnik of MOT Charter High School
The Haunted Christmas by Alexia Nadel of Cab Calloway School of the Arts
Jammed by Felicia Vitelli of St. Elizabeth High School

Congratulations to the finalists, the honorable mentions, and all of the playwrights who participated in this year's DYPF!  

2023 DYPF Winners.JPG

2023 DYPF Winners on Performance Night 

Left to Right: Jane Oommen, Morgan Baker, Mackenzie Lane, Lauren MacAllister, & Danielle Chapman

The mission of Delaware Theatre Company's DYPF is to provide students with an authentic audience for their creative writing and teachers with an innovative literacy program. Guided by passion and  professionalism, DYPF uses educational resources, interactive workshops, personal feedback to every playwright, and public performances to engage students in the art of theatre through the act of writing a play. Both competitive and cooperative, DYPF fosters, respects, and celebrates the voices of young writers. 

finalist workshop
stage 19 20
winners cake 19 20
billie rose speaks to group
workshop watching scene
winners stage 19 20

I would absolutely suggest this program to other playwrights, as this experience has helped me to gain more insight into the process of writing, and what to keep in mind while developing characters and plots. This opportunity is a great chance to get to learn more about further analyzation of your stories. Getting to see it live in front of you, with the way that actors portray the characters, gives you, as the writer, a different take on who they can become through the actor's abilities.”

– Jordan, student playwright, Aquinas Academy

DYPF is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.  The Division promotes Delaware arts events on  

DYPF is funded in part by a grant from Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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