Young Playwrights Unit 2020


Program Description:

The Young Playwrights Unit (YPU) is a FREE training experience for young people who are curious and passionate about play-making. We take a page from our professional play development programs to offer a group of dedicated young creators a rigorous context in which to develop some of their first works.  


What the YPU Offers:

  • Writing sessions, with instructors Paula Wing and Caitie Graham, will provide an opportunity for guided material generation and revision through creation, discussion and critique.
  • Exercises and assignments will be tailored to the specific needs and interests of each participant.
  • Dramaturgical support will span the duration of the YPU (January-June 2020). 
  • Participants will be connected with various theatre professionals and Tarragon staff. 
  • Participants will be given FREE tickets to Tarragon shows.
  • Each play may receive a workshop with a professional director.
  • Each play may be read publicly at the conclusion of the Unit.


Submission Requirements:

  • Applicants must be aged 22 or under as of December 2019.
  • Applicants must be available to attend weekly writing sessions at Tarragon Theatre between January and May (Sunday mornings), and meet regular deadlines.
  • Applicants must be prepared to do a substantial amount work between writing sessions. 
  • Reading casts will have a maximum of four actors. If your work has more than four characters, please outline doubling possibilities in your letter of intent.

What to Submit:

  • A letter of intent (max 1pg single-spaced), outlining the play you intend to develop with the YPU. Include a brief synopsis of the piece, a description of where you think you’re at with it, and an overview of what you’d like to explore in the Unit. 
  • A writing sample (max 10pgs double-spaced), either from the play you intend to develop with the YPU, or from a previous work.
  • Please submit via email to:
  • Any questions may also be fielded at the above address.



FRIDAY NOVEMBER 8th, 2019 @ 5:00pm


Staged Reading Series

Saturday June 1st and Sunday June 2nd in the Tarragon Workspace


Inspired by new play development practices at Tarragon, the Young Playwrights Unit (YPU) is a free training experience for young people who are curious and passionate about play-making. Each year, the program provides a group of dedicated young writers the rigorous context in which to develop some of their first works. After six months of development, our 2019 YPU is ready to present their work here Tarragon, with the support of our generous team of directors and actors.

Download the Online Program Here.



Saturday June 1st @ 2:00pm, Tarragon Workspace


Playwright: Magda Uculmana-Falcon

Director: Lisa Karen Cox

Cast: Meghan Aguirre, Rosina Ferede, Alyssa Pothier, and Brianna Wright


A physical altercation in a classroom, between a teacher and a black, female student, goes viral. Friends of the student involved seek justice on her behalf, but then BOOM! Another incident at the school grabs the world’s attention, and thwarts their pursuit. BOOM! is a play about three black, teenage girls, trying to be heard in an institution that won’t listen.



Saturday June 1st @ 8:00pm, Tarragon Workspace


Playwright: Araceli Ferrara
Director: Rosa Labordé

Cast: Katarina Fiallos, Kathy Martinez, Adriana Moraes-Mendoza, Walter Moraes-Mendoza, Xanath Fuentes Natanson, and Dre Rivas


SOL follows the story of a woman trying to rebuild the past. Set in her memory, Sol revisits her fourteen-year-old self during the 1973 coup d’état in Chile, when political tensions threatened the fragile bonds of family. SOL is an exploration of memory and the things we do in order to survive.



You Better Second Line!

Sunday June 2nd @ 2:00pm, Tarragon Workspace


Playwright: JD Leslie

Director: Audrey Dwyer

Cast: Meghan Aguirre, Walter Moraes-Mendoza, and Pablo Ogunlesi


Welcome to New Orleans! Where death is a celebration and crickets play jazz music to keep souls at rest. Brave and his cricket family welcome you with open arms to the graveyard as tonight is moon’s day; the one time of the month when souls can pass onto the other side. But what happens when a soul can’t be put to rest? What happens when you aren’t ready to move on? And what happens if there ain’t no moon? One thing’s for sure…you better second line!



3 Sisters

Sunday June 2nd @ 8:00pm, Tarragon Workspace


Playwright: Thom Nyhuus

Director: Madeleine Jullian

Cast: Alex Cameron, Victoria Carella, Ellie Ellwand, Madelaine Hodges, Daniel Reale, Lizzie Song, John Wamsley, Brianna Wright, and Sean Williams


As their youngest sister Irina prepares to audition for the prestigious ballet company their father once led, the Prozorov children must grapple with the financial and emotional wreckage their disgraced patriarch left behind. Told over a turbulent summer in cottage country, this reimagining of Chekhov’s classic play examines legacy, gender dynamics in a shifting world, and what it means to live a life that matters.



Reserve FREE tickets online here!

L-R: Thom Nyhuus, Magda Uculmana-Falcon, JD Leslie and Araceli Ferrara
L-R: Thom Nyhuus, Magda Uculmana-Falcon, JD Leslie and Araceli Ferrara

The 2017 Young Playwright’s Unit:


Pictured here are playwrights Tyisha Murphy, Sarah Hilton, Ruby Urlocker & head instructor Caitie Graham. Missing in action are Sara Durante & Jenn Boulay.

Young Playwrights: Tyisha Murphy, Sarah Hilton, Ruby Urlocker (pictured above with Caitie Graham), Sara Durante & Jenn Boulay

Instructors/Directors: Caitie Graham, Paula Wing, Marcia Johnson, Esther Jun

The 2016 Young Playwright’s Unit:


Young Playwrights Unit 2015

Young Playwrights: Sam Beland, Zavian Buchanan, Julie Pham

Instructors/Directors: Anne Wessels, Caitie Graham, Marcia Johnson, Andrea Donaldson, Paula Wing

The 2015 Young Playwright’s Unit:


YPU group shot

Young Playwrights: Raluca Petria, Jonathan Martins, Nam Nguyen, Courtney Buxey-Hill, Chrstian Lischak

Supported by Tarragon Playwrights-in-Residence: Maria Milisavljevic, Jordan Tannahill, Anna Chatterton, David Yee

Instructors/Directors: Anne Wessels, Caitie Graham, Rashida Shaw, Marcia Johnson, Andrea Donaldson, Paula Wing

The  2014 Young Playwrights Unit:



Julie Zenderoudi, Theo Gallaro, and Erum Khan