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Laila Wilson ’22

PWSW student doesn’t let pandemic slow her down

Laila Wilson, PWSW, has had a summer to remember even in the midst of a pandemic that has derailed many people’s lives. 

Her one-act play Just a Ballad had been selected to be staged as part of the Purchase POV Festival in Spring 2020 but of course that was cancelled when the school shut down in March.

But Laila didn’t let disappointment stand in her way.  This spring she was chosen as a finalist for the Television Academy Foundation Internship Program in the Development- Movies for Television category based in Los Angeles. “Although I did not secure the position, I kept working to seek opportunities to grow,” explained Laila.

In July, she was selected as one of the few college students from across the country to participate in the 2020 Kennedy Center Summer Playwriting Intensive. A ten-page excerpt from Just A Ballad was her writing sample for the application. “During the intensive, I absorbed so much knowledge from my teachers, and I learned more about myself as an artist over those two weeks,” Laila said, noting she was the only student selected from a state school.  “I really want the school to know that Purchase was represented at the Kennedy Center.”

Currently, Laila has been invited to attend the Virtual Speaker Series Workshop lead by DreamWorks. There she engages in conversations about the animation industry and seeking new ways to implement her screenwriting skills.

If all that isn’t enough for one summer, Laila also attended the Live Performance and Interactive Media Workshop offered virtually by Purchase professor David Bassuk.  “The workshop has been incredibly inspiring and informative,” said Laila.

Laila continues, “When public spaces are deemed safe, I hope to work with other artists on campus and be involved in the process of creating live theatre again.”

Congratulations to Laila and she should inspire us all to not let our lives slow down even when things don’t go as we planned.