Young playwrights’ original works will be showcased in annual Dwight/Edgewood Project

 Bianca Pagan, playwright; Helen Jaksch and Kee-Yoon Nahm, mentors; and José Thomas, playwright. (Photo by Ruth M. Feldman)Eight original plays — written by local middle-school students, and designed, produced, and performed by Yale School of Drama (YSD) students — will be staged on Friday, June 21, and Saturday, June 22.

The production is part of the 18th annual Dwight/Edgewood Project (D/EP), an after-school initiative which pairs the middle-school students with Yale School of Drama mentors, designers, and directors. The students spend the month of June learning about theater and writing original plays. The program culminates in performances of the students’ work at 7 p.m. in the Off-Broadway Theater, 41 Broadway. The shows are free and open to the public.

D/EP 2013 will include students from Augusta Lewis Troup School, who were chosen, based on their interest in writing and storytelling, by school administrators and teachers, along with Boost! Service Corps member Lizzy Anderson. This year’s playwrights include 7th graders Bianca Pagan, Dejae Barnes, Kyasia Sharpe, Synquea Jenkins, and Tah-Janay McKnight, and 6th graders Eliza Rayne Vargas, José Thomas, and Tyrease Pouncey Jr.

The staff of D/EP 2013 includes Melissa Zimmerman, producing director; Stephanie Rolland, general manager; Katherine McGerr and Andras Viski, directors; Caitlin Smith Rapoport, scenic designer; Montana Blanco, costume designer and Yale Presidential Public Service Fellow; Josef Moro, lighting designer; Steven Brush, sound designer; Celina Burgueño, stage manager; and Scott Keith, technical director.

 Kyasia Sharpe, playwright; Alyssa Simmons and Emika Abe, mentors; and Synquea Jenkins, playwright. (Photo by Ruth M. Feldman)Mentors include Emika Abe, Cornelius Davidson, Helen Jaksch, Kelly Kerwin, Mary Laws, Kee-Yoon Nahm, Alyssa Simmons, and Zenzi Williams.

Michael Walkup ’08 YSD, former director and artistic coordinator of D/EP, will join the company for his third season as the program’s playmaking teaching artist.

The Dwight/Edgewood Project 2013 is made possible in part by Yale Repertory Theatre/Yale School of Drama, Yale University Office of New Haven and State Affairs, Esme Usdan Community Youth Fund, The Lucille Lortel Foundation, Jane Marcher Foundation, and individual donors.