I vividly remember my junior year at McMurry University as a Theatre major quite a few years ago. I was in a play-writing class with one of my very favorite professors. Our final project was to write an original play of our own, out of which three would be selected to be produced by the McMurry Theatre Department and directed by one of our departments' professors. As much as I loved writing and the department, I was under zero illusions that my play would even be in the running.

I was both surprised and overwhelmed when I was told that I was among the three chosen. I'd done plenty of acting on-stage by that time, but this was completely different. To watch the rehearsals and see how something I'd written had been perceived and was being directed by someone for whom I had the utmost respect and then to see my fellows cast in roles as characters I'd created was surreal and terrifying and wonderful. It had a huge effect on me and my creative courage into my adulthood. I believe this is one of the most important things we can do to foster creativity in our young people.

So, I'm thrilled to hear that there's a show written by a 16-year old student from Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler whose play was selected via audience vote at this year's TCTC New Play Festival. It's coming to the Tyler Civic Theatre August 29 through 31. Written by a student from Robert E. Lee High School, Lila Katz's "A Mind of My Own" takes show goers on "a whirlwind of adventure that takes place not only on stage, but in the mind. 'A Mind of My Own' features a group of teenagers all working to help Ross Sullivan go on a successful date with his crush, Shira Goodwin. However, this show is not all unicorns and lollipops, because before he can listen to his friends’ suggestions, he needs to listen to the voices in his head," according the Tyler Civic Theatre Facebook page.

Learn more and get ticket info here.

Congrats Lila! Break a leg. ;)