AU Quills and Capes student mentorship program helps students work on plays
The club will debut the mentorship program at New Works Festival in March
Aside from American University Quills and Capes’ normal operations working on student-led plays, the theater group has spent this school year experimenting with a new mentorship program.
Quills and Capes created a mentorship program last summer that pairs high school and college students with a member of the club to pursue plays that they are working on. To enter the program, students must fill out a form including a question on which mentor they want to work with.
Quills and Capes recently announced two upcoming plays, “A Frog Talks to God” and “The Emancipation of Fanfiction,” as part of the group’s New Works Festival. The festival will debut on March 6 at 7:30 p.m. “A Frog Talks to God” is a product of the mentorship program.
Olivia Luzquinos, a mentor in the program, said the playwrights get to pick the play that they want to collaborate on as it aligns with their “personal aesthetic.” These different aesthetics include writing style or play formats. The plays can vary in structure or length, Luzquinos said.
Each of the mentors takes knowledge from playwriting classes and incorporates it into the mentorship program when working with mentees.
“Last semester, we really got it going and it has been going really well. There are three mentors. We have worked with four or five students at AU so far,” said Heather Adams, a mentor and the program’s primary creator. “They said that it has been helpful for them.”
Anyone at AU can participate in the program. In some cases, people with no experience with writing plays have participated.
“It’s kind of a personalized process, and everyone is in a different place,” Luzquinos said. “We really try to meet everyone who applies where they are. Some people, for example, could have nothing written at all or could have completed a draft and wanted revisions to the existing draft.”
Despite online operations, Quills and Capes are making the most of the current circumstances. In fact, Luzquinos said doing the mentorship program has gone smoothly over Zoom.
“It’s been one of the easiest things that we have been doing throughout the pandemic because each mentor meets with their mentee on Zoom, and screen sharing has been helpful so we can see all the documents,” Luzquinos said.
Students can submit their ideas for plays on the Quills and Capes website.