Playwriting in Quarantine

In the wake of cancellations from the global COVID-19 crisis, I found myself stuck inside my house with more time than I knew what to do with. I quickly stumbled upon a national quarantine playwriting competition inspired by Paula Vogel’s “bake offs” where you write a play that must include a predetermined list of “ingredients,” such as an empty gas station or a bottle of shampoo. I had a blast writing and submitting to the competition, and then thought about how I could recreate it for my local community. I was able to team up with an organization I love called Philly Young Playwrights (PYP) to mount the “PYP Quarantine Challenge,” which solicited submissions from Philadelphia students, and culminated in a livestream of three winning plays performed by professional actors. I hope the competition provided a sense of community and motivation for artistic expression in such difficult times. When things get crazy in the world, I’m reminded of the importance of art.