by JENNIFER FRAKES | photo by Mark Hopkins Photography

Taking the Stage

When Aisling Archdeacon, a sixth grader at St. Patrick Catholic School, found out that she was a winner of Playwrights Project’s 2017 California Young Playwrights Contest, she was overjoyed. “I was so surprised when I found out that I won! The revision process has been such a great experience. I get to work with my own dramaturg, Aleta Barthell, and she has been so helpful in editing and adding final touches to my play,” revealed Aisling. In January of this year, Aisling’s play received a stage reading at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. According to Aisling, she especially enjoyed attending production meetings and rehearsals prior to the stage reading.
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Name: Aisling Archdeacon
School: St. Patrick Catholic School
Parents: John and Dorothy Archdeacon
Siblings: Conor Archdeacon (16) and Sinéad Archdeacon (13)
Favorite Places in Carlsbad: North Ponto Beach, Carlsbad Village, and Lake Calavera Preserve


Her play, entitled Alone by the Playground, is about three main characters that forge a friendship and along the way find out where they belong in the world. “I wanted my play to be about friendship, and I got a lot of inspiration and ideas about conflict while observing my peers. When we do something as small as smile at someone who is having a rough day, it really does so much for that person,” stated Aisling. She was a part of a playwriting residency program at St. Patrick Catholic School, and Aisling attributes her success as a playwright to what she learned from her teacher, Mr. Steve. “He taught us proper formatting, how to make sure our plays were engaging and entertaining, and how to ensure that the conflicts in our plays were not too easily resolved,” explained Aisling.

When she is not attending school or working on her playwriting skills, Aisling can be found at the beach, swimming in her backyard pool, and gardening. She also enjoys drawing, playing soccer, hiking, and biking near her house. “I often go biking with my mom or brother on the trails in the Lake Calavera Preserve or down to the Village to get ice cream and watch the sunset,” said Aisling. Her family loves the outdoors and has gone on many hiking trips, including visiting the Grand Canyon, Denali, and Yosemite.

Although Aisling enjoys writing and will continue to write plays and enter them into playwriting contests, she is leaning towards pursuing medicine as a career. “I often change my mind, but right now, I think I’d like to be a surgeon. I think being a doctor is a great profession – you can help so many people every day.”