AFYP in the Spotlight: Zach and Andrew

Today we are back and putting Mr. Zach and Mr. Andrew in the Spotlight!  Zach and Andrew both graduated with playwriting concentrations and will be leading our teens on our Playwriting Intensive Workshop next Monday (Feb 20) and will be teaching the Creative Writing For Stage and Screen class that starts today (Feb 14)!  We interviewed both of them to learn a little more!

When Did You First Start Writing?  Did Something Inspire You?

Andrew: I started writing seriously around my second year of college. I had always done it as a hobby and side projects, but never really felt like it was a career path that I wanted to follow. I went to go see a show with my brother in D.C. and it was the first time I had noticed the audience being so engrossed with a production. Hearing the conversation afterwards and the immediate impact the show had made me want to pursue writing more seriously. 

Zach: I started writing in 3rd or 4th grade, I believe. I was really into sports books at the time, so I wrote about a soccer game that I participated in a few days earlier.  I still write mainly about my own life!

What kind of stories do you want to tell?

Andrew: I enjoy telling stories that are more slice of life with magical realist twists on them. The stories that interest me the most are the ones that seem average or ordinary that everyone goes through, but trying to tell it in a more extraordinary way. I think that a lot of people believe their life is boring, small or uneventful, but sometimes those insignificant moments are the ones we connect with the most because we all experience them at some point. 

Zach: I want to tell simple stories, bold stories, stories that make you laugh until you cry, stories that come from real life and I want to put a fresh twist on stories that have been told.

What is your favorite play or screenplay?

Andrew: My favorite play is constantly changing as I read more and more of them. Anything by Annie Baker instantly becomes a favorite of mine (John, Circle Mirror Transformation Play, The Flick), but currently I am in love with Constellations by Nick Payne. It's so simple, elegant and beautiful. And, to jump on the bandwagon, I'd say that La La Land is my favorite screenplay as of now. 

Zach: My favorite play is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and my favorite screenplay is Whiplash.

What are you most excited to teach your Creative Writing for the Stage and Screen students about?

Andrew: One of the most exciting things about teaching a creative writing class is getting to hear all of the different ideas and styles that the students bring. Every person brings something unique to the table and no form of writing is considered to be the absolute correct way to write. It's a trial and error process about finding what works for you and working on perfecting that. We are here to help you find your voice and what styles work for you, but the more exciting part is getting the chance to see how that develops. Writing is such a personal form of art that each piece someone brings is a gift in itself. 

Zach: I am most excited to teach the students about the different ways that they can make their stories relate to a world of readers and audience members.