Some people are natural-born storytellers, and 11-year-old Annah Vogelpohl is one of them. At the age of three, she recited stories to her mother, Olivia, who wrote them down for her in blank books while Annah drew the illustrations. She’d even make edits while her mother read the story back to her. Now Vogelpohl has added playwrite to her writing resume and recently performed the play titled “The C of the Cven Seas” with her classmates at Acton Academy Omaha.
Edge: It sounds like you’ve been creative from a very young age.
Vogelpohl: All my family members are creative. My dad writes plays, my mom is a good artist and photographer, and my brother is working on making films.
Olivia Vogelpohl: She would have art shows in her bedroom and we’d have to pay to take pictures off her walls. She also held her own dance recital and even catered it herself.
Edge: What made you decide to write a play?
Vogelpohl: I love writing stories—my friends and I play “and then” where each person builds on to the story. It can get really dramatic! This play came out of our process drama class. I went home from school and started writing it. I wrote until ten o’clock at night, then got up at 4:00am and finished it. It’s about 16 pages, so a 16-minute play.
Edge: What is the play about?
Vogelpohl: It’s about two groups of pirates: one trying to find treasure and the other trying to protect the treasure. The name of the pirate ship is C of the Cven Seas, and most of the character names begin with the letter C.
Edge: How did your class decide to turn the play into a performance?
Vogelpohl: I read the play to the class, we had a Socratic discussion about it, and then we voted. There are 11 students, and we assigned character roles as well as jobs. I’m playing one of the villains, and I’m also one of the lighting directors. We’re each drawing our character and writing from their perspective so we get to know them better.
Edge: Are you nervous about performing?
Vogelpohl: I’m a little socially awkward so I’m nervous to perform in front of people, but I believe that everyone [in my class] can do it, including me.
Edge: What do you like best about writing?
Vogelpohl: I love the creative process. I have tons of ideas. I’m currently working on my own book with its own universe. I get to create characters, worlds, languages, and gods. I love reading fantasy too, like Harry Potter and Upside Magic.
Edge: What do you enjoy doing during your free time, besides writing?
Vogelpohl: I like hanging out with my friends, art, and playing softball. I also like coding and am getting ready to code my own web site. I’m also creating an app that is a game with a story. I love learning new languages too. I find it funny that my last name means “bird bath” in German. And my first name is from one of my dad’s plays, and I love to write plays.
Edge: And you have your own business as well?
Vogelpohl: It’s called Flock My Block. I have 120 plastic yard flamingoes, and people hire me to place them in a yard or in front of a business. It’s really popular for birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations. I started the business to pay for my tuition.
Edge: Do you think you’ll write more plays?
Vogelpohl: Definitely, and I already have ideas. I can’t give any details yet though!
More stories like this one can be found at Our Youth.