What Now?

by Northlight Theatre

In 2020, Northlight’s Education programs faced the same terrifying question that occupied everyone’s mind. 

What now…?

In the face of a global pandemic, race riots, and political upheaval, our NLYC teens — i.e. a small group of high school students from the Chicagoland area known as the Northlight Youth Council — were left to ponder and reconsider their roles as artists in the challenging landscape that we found ourselves in.

What now…?

We brainstormed and thought… what if we wrote a play together? Sure, that could be a good start.

What now…?

The script and reading that we produced started as a playwriting workshop series with Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins in May of 2020. The original scenes were written by members of the Northlight Youth Council as a response to the distractions of the current moment and the challenges of making art in a time of global crisis. 

In October of 2020, we gathered again to complete the script. These teens came back with fresh eyes and a new lens after the summer. We sat in countless rehearsals as they turned the smattering of scenes, ramblings, and reflections from the past into a work of art for the present. These teens found a way to bring dragons, plaid stuffed racoons, and children named Lucy into the same world to say something rather impactful. I hope you enjoy the show.

This play was produced with funding from the Illinois Arts Council for Summer Youth Employment in the Arts. Special thanks to Christina Ward and Jenn Sharp.


In Your Groups 

A play by: Alyssa Argent, Nova Gomez, India Renteria, and Vanessa Rivera