Each year, thousands of high school students apply to the YoungArts Program to be mentored by the world’s leading artists. In this all-new YoungArts Masterclass special, award-winning playwright John Guare prepares three talented mentees for a career in writing. Selected by YoungArts – the national program that recognizes young aspiring artists and nurtures the arts in America – these student playwrights receive individual instruction from Guare at the American Academy in Rome. Strolling around ancient Roman ruins, the students learn that the past is another place they can learn from – and should draw upon – while writing. Guare provides questions the students can ask themselves when stuck on the dynamic of a scene, and encourages them to explore Rome with a writer’s eye. After exploring churches, fountains, statues, and even the Teatro Pompeii, the students are asked to write a monologue drawing on their Roman experience using someone else’s voice – a character that each student invents. In doing so, Guare makes his students realize that they are already inside the theater – they live it each and every day.