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Speak Up, Act Out:

Celebrating Student Voices

Inspiring a new generation of writers and activists!

In the 2021-22 season, New Victory Education launched work aimed to amplify the voices of young writers and activists, in partnership with The Lillys and The 24 Hour Plays to present a showcase of monologues written by New York City students inspired by the life and legacy of celebrated playwright Lorraine Hansberry.

Chosen by a panel of arts professionals, the student finalists, aged 11 to 13, were involved in every step of the rehearsal and production process, culminating in having their creative works filmed and performed by professional actors. This tapestry of unique dramatic works is available to watch!

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 the 2021-22 Project Partners

New Victory

Powered by New 42, New Victory opens new worlds for young people and families through extraordinary performances, engagement and education programs. Every year, New Victory provides more kids with more live performing arts in more grades than any other arts organization in the city.

The Lillys

The Lillys have been honoring, supporting, and advocating for women in theater for the past twelve years. They are founders of The Lilly Awards; The Family Residency at Space on Ryder Farm; and The Count, in association with The Dramatists Guild, which consists of ten years of data documenting who and what is produced on American stages. The Lorraine Hansberry Initiative is their newest endeavor.

The 24 Hour Plays®

The 24 Hour Plays bring together creative communities to produce plays and musicals that are written, rehearsed, and performed in 24 hours. Our radically-present approach to theatermaking responds immediately to the world around us, builds communities, and generates new artistic partnerships.

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