by Chauleaqua Washington

May 24 was proclaimed “Dray Cottingham Day” by the City of Pittsburgh, because this 16-year-old City High student has been doing extraordinary things.

“I’ve been writing forever. My family and others who read my stories were always impressed with the things I would come up with,” said Dray Cottingham.


He produced, directed, wrote and cast his own play entitled “A Teen’s Unspoken Truth,” which earned him recognition by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

An inspired Cottingham wrote about whatever felt right to him, writing about things that seemed too mature for his age and people disapproving of him, yet he didn’t let it stop him.

“I try to write about things that other writers tend to shy away from. Topics that are realistic but hard for many people to hear, read or see,” he said.

With writing as his root and a love for theatre, Cottingham created My Brother’s Keeper Theater Co. Willing to work with others and being open to new ideas, he is a very diligent person.

“A Teen’s Unspoken Truth” is a story about a young woman named Angel who is abused both physically and mentally by her father, who is an alcoholic, and gets raped by the man she thought would be the last person to hurt her. She decides to flee her home in an attempt to find a better place for her and her unborn child. When running away she meets a boy, Donte, and realizes that he, too, has a similar story. They become friends and try to overcome their home situations together.

Cottingham is now writing his sixth play and hopes that this one will go to the stage as well.

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