Because of Playwrights Project, I have known since I was a girl that I have a voice. Playwrights Project produced my first two plays while I was still in high school in the late 1980s. Hearing my deepest concerns aloud with an audience was like listening to my heartbeat over a loudspeaker. I felt alive and adult, powerful and vulnerable.
Just a few years later, Deborah Salzer and Playwrights Project taught me to amplify the voices of others, by teaching. The teaching lessons I learned many years ago at Playwrights Project, I still use as Senior Artist in Residence at University of Washington.
One example is to teach people to listen by listening. Don't repeat what a student says, because it teaches the class to listen to you instead of to one another. If you call on a person, and they answer too quietly, say, "Could you say that again please, a little louder?" This changes everything, especially among people who are used to being silenced, like young people, seniors, the incarcerated, or veterans; exactly the folks served by Playwrights Project.
It's all dialogue: playwriting and teaching. That is the brave, tender vision of Playwrights Project. Dialogue is the center. Dialogue is the work. I don't know what could be more urgent right now.
These days the need is great; it's hard to know where to give. This year, I am giving all I can to Playwrights Project because they start at the source: the voice and the word. How else can we understand one another? I hope you will give generously
, so that disparate voices can reverberate for many more years to come
Alumna 1986 & 1987
P.S. I hope you share our commitment to giving voice to deep human concerns. Please consider a very meaningful gift of $100, $50, or what you can afford. Thank you for caring about our community and everyone who makes up our diverse family of neighbors and friends.
~Cecelia Kouma, Executive Director