Author Archives: Carolyn Marie Wright

AZ Jesuits Vote 2020

Join me for the digital event “AZ Jesuits Vote” on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.

**You do not need to be in Arizona or a voter in Arizona to participate.**

Jesuits West (the province for my school) is now launching C.O.R.E. (Collaborative Organizing for Racial Equity). This will be our first public event, and I am so proud of the work that the students and team have accomplished.

The evening will start with personal stories from folks with Brophy College Preparatory, St. Francis Xavier Church, Kino Border Initiative / Iniciativa Kino para la Frontera, and Marked By COVID.

We will then transition into a short “phone banking” training session from Corazón and finish the evening making calls and connecting with potential voters, encouraging them to GET OUT TO VOTE!

Please REGISTER HERE to participate:

Thank you so much!

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2019 BWW Phoenix Regional Awards!

Thank you, BroadwayWorld and Valley Youth Theatre community!

I am so grateful to be honored as Best Director of a Play (Youth Production) for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Valley Youth Theatre was recognized in many categories at this year’s BWW Regional Awards, and I am especially proud of the awards given the Edward Tulane cast and creative team. It was a magical 30th anniversary season, indeed!

Best Actor in a Play (Youth Production)

Best Director of a Play (Youth Production)
Carolyn Marie WrightTHE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE – Valley Youth Theatre

Best Play (Youth Production)

Visit BroadwayWorld’s website to see full listing of 2019 Phoenix Awards:

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VYT Summer Camp 2019

Four weeks. Twenty-six campers. One magical, exhausting, fun showcase!

I’m thankful for yet another opportunity to work with and direct young people, and I loved spending time with the kids, creatures, and pirates in this tale.

What a lovely way to culminate the VYT 30th anniversary season!

Valley Youth Theatre presents
Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon
Directed by Carolyn Marie Wright
Featuring the Stars (Ages 6-8)
Musical Theatre Summer Workshop
June 28, 2019

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Edward Tulane 2019

“This is love. This must be love.”

“Open your heart. Someone will come. Someone will come for you. But first you must open your heart.”

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My Miraculous Journey to VYT

The 2018–2019 Season is truly a special one – the 30th anniversary season for Valley Youth Theatre and my first season as Director of Education & Outreach. I am thrilled to join the “VYTeam” and am grateful for the opportunity.

January marks my fourth month not only on staff with VYT – but also as an Arizona resident. I knew that VYT was a magical place the moment Bobb and I connected over the phone. I was sitting in my Los Angeles apartment listening to stories about the joy and growth that young people experience on stage, backstage and in class with VYT. Did I want to be part of a team that is passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people through theatre? 100% yes. Theatre made a world of difference in my life, and I want to pay it forward.

Among all the wonderful experiences I’ve had as an artist and educator, it always comes back around to the beginning, the spark that lighted the way. For me, it was my first show with Yale Children’s Theatre and I was 18. My father had recently passed away, and I was struggling to get back on my feet. I was searching for support and a sense of community when I saw an audition notice for The Frog Prince. I tried out for the role of princess, and I got a part – as the King! I fondly remember wearing oversized red pajamas, a padded bodysuit and a bald cap for the role. The audiences would howl in delight at curtain call when the bald cap would “accidentally” fall off to reveal I was really a girl! I quickly realized I had found my calling – and a home – in theatre.

Today, I am excited to create new stories and make new memories with VYT, and the greater Phoenix community. I love how the magic of VYT extends beyond the stage. It begins the moment a child walks through the doors. We offer a positive, supportive opportunity for every child who visits for a field trip, auditions for a show, enrolls in a class, participates in camp or attends a VYT event.

It is a delight and an honor be a part of the creative team in my role as director for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. This magical story tells the tale of a self-absorbed china doll rabbit who encounters new friends on an unexpected adventure and learns how to love and care for others along the way. Now, more than ever, this message is needed in our world.

The final ingredient in this journey is YOU – the audience. It is your time to embrace and experience this remarkable tale. Xo.

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#R2R at AATE 2018 Minneapolis

This summer, Humanity Play Project had the opportunity to take our kids’ show #Right2Recess on the road to the American Alliance for Theatre & Education Conference 2018 in Minneapolis. What a joyful and motivating weekend, all centered around the theme “Rise Up!” ⭐️ 🎭 ☮️

Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) is especially important now as our nation experiences change and imbalance, and I am grateful that #Right2Recess plays a role in the national dialogue. Theatre can act as an agent of change beyond its entertainment value and educational influence, and I am increasingly interested in exploring TYA as Civic Dialogue. For two years in a row now, the annual AATE conference has provided a platform for Humanity Play Project to present, grow and bloom. Our ensemble voyage to Minneapolis took our work to the next level.

As audience members and participants in our workshop performance, the AATE conference attendees (including local teens!) watched #Right2Recess, brainstormed possible outcomes, then rehearsed and shared how to stand up and speak out for what they believe in as they helped the fictional characters move the story forward.

The conference experience gave us an opportunity to present our show to colleagues and community members and receive feedback, so we can bring the production – and Theatre for Young Audiences as Civic Dialogue – to more kids, more schools, and more community centers. Most importantly, we had the chance to connect, activate the story and rise up as a collective.

It is necessary for our young people – and their grown-ups – to practice conversation, reflect on current issues, and participate in hands-on learning as artists, activists, and citizens. And so, our work will continue.

Thank you to AATE, the Humanity Play Project community, the #Right2Recess cast and crew, our supporters and donors for giving our story the opportunity to “rise up.” Here’s to the next adventure!

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Looseleaf Theatre Co 2018

For my 6th season with Looseleaf Theatre Co, I play the role of…DIRECTOR!

I am incredibly proud of my cast & crew and thrilled to invite you to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] at Concordia! This show has heart and mirth and promises to be a rompin’ good time for the whole family. Yes, and…admission is FREE!

Family-friendly & fun for all ages!

May 26, 27, 28 & June 2, 3 @ 4:30 p.m.
Nelson Amphitheatre
Concordia University Irvine

This madcap comedy tries to smoosh all of Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies into one tasty treat of high silliness! A must-see for Shakespeare lovers and those who just like a great laugh!

Bring your kids, bring your neighbors, bring your dog (seriously, pets are welcome!). Come laugh with us and share an afternoon of Shakespeare, silliness, and community. See you there!

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#Right2Recess at #NFF17

I am thrilled to invite you to #Right2Recess, an interactive Theatre for Young Audiences play I created with my company Humanity Play Project. This project has been in the works for one year now – since election 2016. At long last, our show is ready to take the stage as part of the NoHo Fringe Festival.

Theatre can play a vital role in community dialogue, and we hope #Right2Recess give audiences an opportunity to come together and support each other as our nation faces social, economic and political changes. It is essential that our young people – and their grown-ups – practice conversation, reflect on current issues, and participate in hands-on learning as artists, activists, and citizens.

If you cannot attend in person, please consider making a donation to support our mission. Our fundraising goal is $3,000. This will cover basic production costs, festival fees, and artist compensation. Donations of all sizes are welcome and appreciated. Please CLICK HERE to donate.

Third graders at Oak Street Elementary School love to learn AND play. When a new principal comes to town and threatens to take away recess, they decide to take action and fight for their #Right2Recess. Weaving together comedy, puppetry, rap and improv, #Right2Recess will transform the theatre space into a place where young audiences are encouraged to explore what it takes to stand up for something important to them and make their voices heard.

Saturday November 11, 2017 @ 3:00 pm
Sunday November 12, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

Running time: 45 minutes

Ages 0-4 – FREE
General Admission – $10
Generous Admission – $20 ($10 ticket plus $10 donation)

ACME Founders Theatre
5124 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Director: Carolyn Marie Wright
Stage Manager: Ross Jackson
Cast: Hermie CastilloMegan GaineyRobert Paterno & Carissa Pinckney
Story by: Hermie Castillo, Rachna KhatauAdrienne ShelnuttLetty Valladares & Carolyn Marie Wright

Find Humanity Play Project online:

Into social media? Use these hashtags to share:
#NFF17Thank you for your support. Hope to see you at the theater! Xo.

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Sojourn Institute Summer 2017

Earlier this month, I spent a glorious week with this group of change-makers at the Sojourn Summer Institute 2017. I learned so much, and I want to share my appreciation for the group – and the collective experience.

I will carry this experience with me always. In an interesting way, the week presented evidence of synchronicity – and taught me a great lesson about “water” and its power and grace. Stay with me on this. I choose “synchronicity” because last week’s Institute felt like being in the right place at the right time. With the right people. Not that perfect or “being right” is the thing. The imagery of water appeared throughout the week. In one of our early activities, a question asked was: “What can we learn from the river?” That struck a chord with me.

Then the PlayBuild teen artists at Goodman Theatre shared their “river” of the history of race in America. A long piece of chart paper with dates, events, thoughts scribed by adolescent minds. Performance research on the page. “Water” appeared again when we did the cup activity. Water is an essential element. How do we take care of the water? of ourselves? of others? of our land? of our communities? What happens if we find ourselves in literal or figurative drought?

As I reflected during the week after the institute, I found myself meditating on the words of Bruce Lee: “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” That’s what we did – all week long – at the Sojourn Institute. We made an effort to be water.

We can all learn from the water. As people, humans, facilitators, artists. Be open to the flow. Be aware. Be flexible. When you enter a community, you become part of the community. When you enter a class culture, you become part of the class culture. When you enter a rehearsal process, you become part of the rehearsal process. The possibilities go on.

During that one glorious week, we formed a community. With the Institute. With Sojourn Theatre. With Center for Performance and Civic Practice. With each other. I left Chicago feeling simultaneously filled up and drained out. Just like the river that flows or the oceans whose tides come and go, I was made aware of the power and grace of water. How it can replenish and renew. If you’ll allow me a moment to be poetic and “on the nose” here, I must say thank you because my cup (of water, as it were) runneth over with gratitude, appreciation and inspiration for the experience and the people. Synchronicity. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Call to Arms at UCA

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Professor Adam Dean Frank and the University of Central Arkansas for an enriching, engaging weekend of theater and dialogue. I visited students in Prof. Frank’s Theatre for Social Justice Class and conducted a weekend of workshops and post-show community conversations. The students, in association with the Ozark Living Newspaper, presented a shadow puppetry presentation of my short play, “Call to Arms,” written in remembrance of the nine African Americans killed in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. We shared a productive career Q&A about working in Performing Arts, Education and Community Engagement. I depart the weekend feeling hopeful and motivated…ready to #dosomething more.

Saturday, March 12, 2016 – Sunday, March 13, 2016

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