San Diego Playwrights

Getting San Diego Playwrights Produced on San Diego Stages

California Young Playwrights Contest Winner–Isaac Dwyer

on February 24, 2014

Isaac Dwyer 2

Isaac Dwyer (Playwright, Little Elephant, written at age 16) is a juvenile nomad. Flirting and cross-pollinating between the worlds of academia, art, and kind-hearted trouble-making, he hopes one day to bring peace to every latitude and longitude of our slowly-spinning space rock, though the task oftentimes appears daunting. Art-making is his modus operandi, and dabbles dutifully in most mediums, and he currently calls Bennington College home (although this too, in time, will change).

How did you first get involved with writing?

Oh dear. To be truthfully honest I can’t pinpoint a single moment, but sometime in middle school I started scrawling angsty quatrains in the margins of my school notebooks, intentionally making my handwriting illegible so that no one else but myself (and my mother) could decipher them. I was reading a lot of Victorian romance novels at the time, and it showed glaringly. Once I became a bit older, I began attending an arts conservatory where I studied creative writing intensively for two and a half years. It was the teachers there that really whipped me into shape and made me start thinking about all writing (including my own) critically.

How did you come up with the idea of your script?

The first semester of my senior year of high school I took an entry-level Psychology seminar taught by a fellow who’s both a well-versed academic and a Buddhist monk, who remains to this day a great source of inspiration for me. One of the first readings we did was on speech development, and about a series of theories that state that if you aren’t exposed to advanced syntax and grammar before a certain point, you’ll never be able to. We read about a few cases, but the one that stuck with me the most was the story of this girl who was discovered in Arcadia, California in 1970. She was bound to a potty chair from the time she was twenty months old until she was thirteen, completely immobilized, and the two of the handful of words she knew how to say were “Stopit” and “Nomore”. Her face stuck in my brain, and I kept on thinking about her. Then I wrote a play very roughly based off of her.

What themes are involved in your piece?

Revelation. Faith. Passiveness. God-as-strength  v. God-as-hindrance. Love.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?

Remember what it is to be human.

Do you plan to continue writing?

I try not to make plans beyond three months in advance because they usually go awry if I do, but I certainly don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Writing is an easy outlet for me when I need to let off some steam or to stew for a bit.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I won’t grow up. I’ll stay in Never-neverland where the world is one great, wild adventure until the day I die, thank you very much.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Plays by Young Writers festival, visit or call (858) 384-2970. To find out more about the California Young Playwrights Contest, visit


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