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Paper Wings

Soaring into 2022-23, each Paper Wings student has begun writing — and will perform — their own work as part of two annual festivals: our Winter Monologue Festival and our Spring Play Presentations.

Working with TS Hawkins, and the in-classroom teacher, students learn how to craft and perform original monologues and plays based on themes they want to explore. In honor of Theatre Exile’s 26th season and the partner school’s curriculum, these young creatives are writing on the theme of “family”. Weaving a tapestry of tales that loom the many familial fabrics that blanket Philadelphia and the world beyond, these literary journeys are something you don’t want to miss! Currently, Paper Wings operates at Fanny Jackson Coppin (5th-8th grade) & Franklin Learning Center (10th-12th grade). At Coppin, Director of Education, TS Hawkins works with Kevin Konya and his English class. At FLC, Mx. Hawkins works with Amy Garcia and her French I & II students.

Additionally, Paper Wings looks forward to debuting Spring Theatre Camp! Running April 3-7, 2023, students will have the opportunity to delve deeper into the wonderful world of theatre and perform an original community showcase!

Check out photos from rADicAl ImAgInAtIoN (and other sorted pandemic musings)

View our rADicAl ImAgInAtIoN (and other sorted pandemic musings) Commemorative Book

View our Season Highlights in our Fall 2020 Commemorative Mini Monologue Fest Book


About The Literary Eagle Award: The Literary Eagle Award was established in the Fall of 2020 by Education Director TS Hawkins to spotlight the youth voice(s) that exemplified exceptional participation and follow-through within Paper Wings! Awarded during the Fall and Spring sessions of the program, participating students have the opportunity to be voted on by their classmates. After all the student votes have been tabulated, the final numbers are reviewed by Theatre Exile’s Education Director and the partnering classroom teachers. The winner is announced during the culminating presentation; the Fall Monologue Fest and/or the Spring 10-Minute PlayFest.

  • Current Winner(s)
    • Johnny Dang – Fanny Jackson Coppin (Grade 7)
    • Ismael Boro – Franklin Learning Center (Grade 12)
  • Past Winner(s)
    • 2021 Winners: Julian Sankey & Kristy Do
      • Runner ups: Natalia Caro-Ceron, Summer Reid & Aleishai Beltran-Barbon
    • 2020 Winners: Denisha Thapa
      • Runner ups: Natalia Caro-Ceron & Hajra Khan

About the Director of Education: TS Hawkins (they/them) is an international author, performance poet, art activist, playwright, and member of the Dramatists Guild. Plays, short works, and books include Seeking Silence, sweet bread peaches (formerly, Cartons of Ultrasounds), Too Late to Apologize, In Their Silence (formerly, They’ll Neglect to Tell You), #RM2B, The Secret Life of Wonder: a prologue in G, AGAIN, #SuiteReality, “don’t wanna dance with ghosts…”, Sugar Lumps & Black Eye Blues, Confectionately Yours, Mahogany Nectar, Lil Blaek Book: all the long stories short, and The Hotel Haikus. Hawkins’ one-act choreopoem, AGAIN, was acknowledged for having the “Best Theater Moment of 2017”. #SuiteReality received the 2017 “Theatrical Reality Check” Surya Bonaly Award, an international publication in WORDPEACE Literary Journal, showcased in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre for the Black Lives, Black Words International Theatre Festival, and shares residence at the Carnegie Mellon University Hunt Library. Cartons of Ultrasounds had the pleasure of returning to New York for a limited off-Broadway run to rave reviews. Recently, The Secret Life of Wonder: a prologue in G graced Australian stages as part of Antipodes Theater Company’s Ricochet Reading Series! Hawkins’ residency credits include National Black Theatre SOUL Producing Resident, Swim Pony Performing Arts TrailOff Writer-in-Residence, 1812 Productions’ Jilline Ringle Solo Performance Residency, Out of Exile Artist-in-Residence, Irondale Ensemble “To Protect, Serve, and Understand”, Painted Bride Art Center’s Souls of Black Folk, and Alphabet Arts Puppets & Poets. Notable writing contributions include Rising Voices: Poems Towards a Social Justice Revolution (University Professors Press), Closet Cases: Queers on What We Wear (Et Alia Press), Family Legacies (SONKU Collective Magazine). WORDPEACE Literary Magazine/vol. 2 Spring Edition, Fragrance of Love (Poet Tree), Long Wharf Theatre Blog Series, The Dramatist – Motivation & Innovative Dramatists issues, and Pandemic of Violence Anthology (North of Oxford Press). Ongoing projects: TrailOff and Community Capital: an Afrofuturism South Philly Walking Experience. tspoetics.com

Paper Wings Annual Monologue Fest