To help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the TNB Theatre School, the school will add to its growing list of programming with the addition of Young Playwrights, an in-depth exploration of playwriting for students grades 6-12.

“The goal of Young Playwrights is to inspire young people to discover the power of theatre and storytelling, as well as the power of their own story and their own voice,” said TNB Theatre School Director Sharisse LeBrun. “We want to equip students with the tools, resources, and community to write about topics and stories that they care about, that excite them, and that they think are important and need to be heard.”

The inaugural edition of Young Playwrights will be taught by Louis Anthony Bryan. A scriptwriter and standup comedian from Trinidad and Tobago, and a recent graduate of St. Thomas University, Bryan is the latest addition to the Theatre School’s teaching staff.

“We are here to establish a safe, inclusive space where artists can foster one another’s ideas,” said Bryan. “This course will give artists an opportunity to properly hear themselves amongst their peers and develop a piece of writing that they’re proud of.

“I’d want our emerging artists to feel listened to by a wider community of creators, each willing to bring a different facet of their own experience and artistic ideals to strive toward,” he said. “We’d want them to feel supported by the theatre scene- of which they are an active part. I’d also hope they find that support in one another as artists, to independently collaborate, deliberate ideas, and be one another’s audience.”

Young Playwrights is also the Theatre School’s first satellite program, scheduled to take place each week in The Gathering Space at The Ville, 241 Canada Street.

Bryan describes the program’s format as a series of workshops using theatre and film to explore the fundamentals of storytelling in scriptwriting and the mechanics of a script.

“During our fall program, participants will cover the principles of storytelling,” said Bryan. “Workshops will cover concepts such as character arcs, dialogue, and theming. During our winter program, we will focus on the workings of a script and it’s translation to the stage including stage directions and loglines.”

The program will also feature a number of guest artists who will share their own experiences and lessons learned through playwriting.

“Having guests join us on occasion will allow participants to engage with established members of the community while learning from their particular sensibilities and insights,” said Bryan.

The course will conclude with an onstage reading of new scripts created by through the program.

“Art can only benefit from the insights of the next generation of scriptwriters,” said Bryan. “This program will only help our greater theatre scene stay thriving, relevant and inclusive.”

Young Playwrights is a full year program running from September to April. Classes will take place on Thursday evenings from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Registration for all fall/winter programs at the TNB Theatre School open August 12.

Young Playwrights is made possible through the generous support of The City of Fredericton and The McCain Foundation.

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