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LMSD students shine in 2018 Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival
LMSD students shine in 2018 Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival

Lower Merion School District was well-represented in the winner's circle of the 2018 Philadelphia Young Playwrights (PYP) Festival as ten secondary students were recently honored for their submissions to this year's contest. The winners were chosen from more than 700 submissions from students throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.

The District's honorees - representing multiple grade levels throughout Bala Cynwyd, Welsh Valley, Harriton and Lower Merion - were highlighted by Angelina DeMonte, a current ninth grade student at Harriton who penned her piece while at Welsh Valley, as she took top honors in the Middle School category.

All submissions received in the contest are considered by the PYP's Literary Committee – a collection of nearly 70 program alumni, artists, staff, teachers and others – who read and write individualized responses to every play. Literary Committee members recommend a number of outstanding plays to be considered for further consideration by two additional groups of readers: the Pre-Final and Final committees. At Final Committee, the panel chooses winning plays, including those that will be produced for public presentations. Those students are then invited to continue to revise and develop their plays in partnership with theater professionals for production.

Congratulations to all of this year's winners!

Bala Cynwyd

  • 2nd Place: Noa Culter's Do You Copy
  • 2nd Place: Jessica Eichen's Atomic
  • 3rd Place: Elahna Shalish and Rachel Zhang's Extra Credit

Welsh Valley

  • 1st Place: Angelina DeMonte's Say Who Are You That Mumbles in the Dark
  • 2nd Place: Anusha Vyas' A Magical Solution
  • 3rd Place: Niki Schrift's Your Side of This Fence

Lower Merion

  • 2nd Place: Noelle Perri's Book on a Nightstand
  • 3rd Place: Dan Dwyer's Unity Not Neutrality


  • 3rd Place: Dinah Day-Booth's Falling North

Since 1987, PYP has partnered with educators to bring the transformative power of playwriting into classrooms and community settings across Greater Philadelphia. Placing students at the center of their learning, PYP's intensive writing residencies advance writing-based literacy skills while developing critical 21st century skills like creativity, communication and collaboration.

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