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Speak Up Act Out Celebrating Student Voices

Speak Up, Act Out:

Celebrating Student Voices

Amplifying student voices through creative writing

The performing arts play a vital role in young people’s lives, especially in times of great conflict and social unrest. Speak Up, Act Out centers student voice, agency, creativity and activism.

Speak Up, Act Out Residency:

Speak Up, Act Out residencies, and additional resource materials, are available for free to New Victory Education Partners. Led by a team of New Victory Teaching Artists, these residencies aim to:

  • Discover the views and achievements of artist activists from yesterday and today
  • Explore dynamic ways of becoming young activists through the arts
  • Inspire students to channel their authentic voice
  • Create supportive spaces for student agency through creative writing
  • Celebrate the artistic work that’s created when student voices are centered

The Education Partnership Program opens new worlds to students in grades Pre-K — 12 through extraordinary performances, interactive performing arts workshops and unlimited access to a library of show-inspired and art form-based resource guides and instructional videos.

Speak Up, Act Out 2024-25 Residency

Interested in participating in the Speak Up, Act Out residency for the 2024-25 school year? Contact for more information.

The 24 Hour Plays: New Victory

New Victory partnered with The 24 Hour Plays to uplift student writers and their work for a free, one-night-only, Off-Broadway production of The 24 Hour Plays on May 4, 2024, at 7:30pm. It was a star-studded race to showtime as seven young playwrights collaborated with professional actors and directors to stage their own original works live at the New Victory Theater—all on 24 hours’ notice! For one night only, we experienced the passions and perspectives of some of New York City’s brightest young creatives in a showcase of short plays conceived, written and rehearsed over a single day and night. There was no rest for the revolutionary!

Earlier in the school year, New York City students in Grades 5 — 12 applied for this Speak Up, Act Out: Celebrating Student Voices showcase, where the selected young writers would be supported and mentored by an ensemble of creative professionals through the entire process of creating an original short play.

Event Timeline:

  • January 17 – February 29: Application period
  • February 29 – March 16: Adjudication process
  • Week of March 18: Seven student writers selected
  • April 4, 11 and 18: Writers’ workshops
  • May 3 – 4: 24-hour event

2024 Selected Student Writers:

Annabelle Borsanyi (Grade 11), The Chapin School

Jeury Cortorreal (Grade 8), Mott Hall Science and Technology Academy

Celestine Deaton (Grade 10), The Chapin School

Amanda C. Deliz (Grade 10), Brooklyn Collaborative Studies

Zion Park (Grade 6), De La Salle Academy

Emma Perez Maturen (Grade 7), Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy

Adaa Rahul (Grade 6), NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies

Portrait of Lorraine Hansberry with text that reads, writer, activist, revolutionary.

Lorraine Hansberry as Inspiration

As part of the partnership with the Lorraine Hansberry Initiative created by The Lillys, New Victory Education developed a set of education resources and curriculum providing context on Lorraine Hansberry’s creative and dramatic writing, journalism and activism, as well as tip sheets and activities to encourage creative writing. These resources are available to download for free for individual use.

Access education materials

About Our Partner

Established in 1995 by Artistic Director Mark Armstrong, The 24 Hour Plays brings together creative communities to produce plays and musicals written, rehearsed and performed in 24 hours. Their radically present approach to theatermaking has an immediacy to it, and a unique potential to respond creatively to current events. With productions from London to Los Angeles, Dublin to Minneapolis, Finland to Mexico and more, their work generates new artistic partnerships and builds community in ways that only live theater can.