The What’s On Your Mind New Play Project, also known as WOYM, is a Concord Academy student-run club that allows students to write and act in short plays in collaboration with their peers. One WOYM co-head, Kelly Kong ’24, explained, “[WOYM] combines two of my favorite things together—theater and writing.” On Friday, January 12th, the annual display of student work culminated in one night with ten student-written plays spanning various genres and themes. Writers and actors explored confrontation, comedy, grief, confession, familial conflict, apparitions, and much more through their fantastic works. From Hannah Bodnar ’24’s Gone Bananas!, starring stunning science and humor, to Amilyn Feng ’27’s Last Night With Mother, featuring all-encompassing hurt and healing, WOYM impressed the audience with unique versatility and raw spirit.

Playwright Ben Osborne ’24 shared a summary of his short but moving play, Checked Out. This is Ben’s second year writing in WOYM and he wanted to experiment with something more emotional—a work that mirrored the complex people he knew in real life and shared his message with the world. Ben stated, “Checked Out is about a troubled household: a mother who is not doing too hot [...] and kids who deal with the fallout; shenanigans ensue.” The play zeroed in on small but revealing moments of family turmoil with an angsty and candid delivery. It stayed with many audience members.

Of course, expertly crafted plays need enthusiastic actors. Sophia Primmer ’26 was one of many who helped bring the written dialogues to life. Sophia explained that she joined WOYM because she loved to act and sought to take part in her peers’ original works. “I think they’re really well done; everyone is super talented and we all have so much fun together,” she said. Sophia embodied her distinct roles with confidence and sincerity, delivering an authentic and all-around impressive performance with special attention to detail. It seemed as if she never left her characters, even if she wasn’t part of a specific scene.

In the week leading up to the performance, nerves and anticipation built up for club members. Sophia shared that she was most excited for playwrights to share their creations with everyone. Similarly, Kelly was eager to see her club members’ hard work come to fruition under the eye of a wider audience. Despite the possible anxiety that troubled the writers and performers, WOYM had a fantastic presentation and an exciting turnout from friends, family, and faculty. The plays touched the crowd—boisterous laughter was heard at one moment and a teary sniffle caught at the next. Many audience members practically ran onstage after the final bows to congratulate and compliment all of the participants for their thrilling performances and gripping writing. Pride was plastered on everyone’s faces by the end. For many, WOYM was a great way to start—if not the highlight of—their weekend. From creative premises to undeniably riveting storytelling, WOYM truly has it all.