Speaking Up!

This season, Young Players Theater has developed the original production, Speaking Up! launching it’s first Theater for Young Audiences Program which will be brought to elementary schools throughout the 2014 season!

The play follows the journey of one young girl as she begins to find her voice.  The piece runs approximately 35 minutes and is adapted with two versions geared toward audiences K-2nd grade and 3rd-5th grade.

Young Players Theater debuted Speaking Up! this spring at PS 58 in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Click here for feedback from teachers and students!

Our Theater for Young Audiences residency Program has three parts:

1) Pre- Show Materials

We will provide your classroom teachers with materials to help guide them as they prepare your students to see our production of Speaking Up!

2) Our Production

We will bring our production to your school!  Journey with us into the magical world of rhyme, rap, and song, as one young girl struggles to find her voice.

3) Post Show Workshops

Our Post Show Workshops provide students with the opportunity to both reflect on the play and build both personal and cross-curricular connections to the themes found within it.

Young Players Theater offers a child-centered, professional-caliber theater performance at your school.

Our turnkey program offers:

-A professionally produced play performed by trained actors, at your school.

-Supportive classroom materials developed by educators that support and enrich elements of the Common Core, the Primary Years Program and the Middle Years Program of the International Baccalaureate.

-Post-play, in-class visits by actors in the production.

-Premium-level custom materials that tie themes in the play to themes being covered in your classroom.

Space is limited! We can help problem-solve around your budgetary constraints and offer great fundraising ideas to help you bring this powerful and memorable program to your school community!

Location: This show is designed to travel. Locate a performance at a school or theater near you, or schedule a performance at your own school or theater.

Length: 35 minutes

Audience: Created for grades K through 5

Speaking Up! Cover Image


Pre-Show Materials: Click here for teacher materials designed to help prepare students for the Speaking Up! experience:

Speaking Up! Full Packet

“I have been talking about your AMAZING production all day!!  Really ladies, that was truly inspiring, and I am so grateful that you were part of last night’s festivities. You really set the tone for a fabulous evening!!!
Many thanks again!”

Steph Thompson
Founder, Executive Director


About the Writer:


Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 1.32.13 PM

Marielle Duke (Playwright):Marielle is thrilled to be creating Speaking Up alongside the YPT team! She has been rocking various hats in Young Players Theater since 2011 and currently serves as their Director of Education. Across the boroughs, she has devised new plays with students from 2-20 years old. She has written adaptations of Gogol’s The Inspector General, Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories , way too many folk tales to count and is currently collaborating on a new devised version of Faust. Outside of Young Players Theater, her plays have been developed with Flux Theater Ensemble and Oracle Theater Inc. She holds a BA in Theater (Directing) and Creative Writing from Drew University and a Masters in Educational Theater from CCNY. You can find out more about her theatrical adventures at www.marielleduke.com

Production Team, Speaking Up

Archana Rajan

Archana Rajan
Actress,  Speaking Up!
(link to Archana’s slug through picture and name)
Lauren Brickman
Actress, Speaking Up!
(link to Lauren’s slug through picture and name)

THIS IS PROBABLY A BLOG POST with a link from this page


Young Players Theater performs at P.S. 58 The Carroll School!

Young Players Theater was thrilled to have partnered with P.S. 58 The Carroll School this spring season in launching our first Theater for Young Audiences production of Speaking Up!  We developed the original production, and our debut performance, specifically with PS 58 in mind.

Over the course of Young Players Theater’s residency at PS 58 during the month of April, each student attended one of two performances of Speaking Up! One for Kindergarten-2nd grade and one for 3rd-5th grade. Performances were followed by a post-show workshop with each class in which students were introduced to one of the Speaking Up! actors and engaged in a lively Q&A session. One of YPT’s teaching artists then lead students in a poetry-based lesson, in honor of National Poetry Month, that mirrored the lesson taught in the classroom scenes of Speaking Up!

3rd through 5th grade students delved into a lesson using some of Langston Hughes’ dream-based poetry, resulting in a performance of their own creation. Kindergarten through 2nd graders created their own versions of Maya Angelou’s poem, “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me at All.”   When students delved deeper into the poems and created their own mini-performances, they explored and developed their own theatrical voices, just as Ella, the lead character does in Speaking Up!.

It was a pleasure working with the PS 58 community!



Audience Reactions

ypt Speaking Up! at PS 58