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Senior Julia Maenza's Drama Playwrights Independent Study piece, First Ladies, was named a third place winner in the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival competition for 2017. The play, written and developed during a two semester independent study with Drama Teacher Aileen McCulloch during her junior year explores the moment when several past first ladies (from Abigail Adams through Betty Ford) come together to discuss how far women have come since the United States became a democracy led by male presidents.
Wondering out loud if any of the women would have liked to have taken on the main leadership role or not, the play was workshopped at Baldwin with the assistance of many Upper School students. Julia credits the assistance of those students for helping to read the work repeatedly while she tweaked and rewrote it. Baldwin offers playwright studies during 7th grade Middle School Drama, as well as through independent study and advanced theater class opportunities for Upper School students. Students who participate in the drama class are encouraged to take part in the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival competition.