Yale and Local Middle School Collaborate in Playwriting Program

Twelve talented New Haven inner-city students will soon be experienced playwrights, thanks to the Dwight/Edgewood Project (DEP), a collaboration involving the Yale Repertory Theatre, Yale School of Drama and Troup Magnet Academy Middle School.

The middle school children, paired with Yale School of Drama mentors, will spend most of June learning how the theater operates and writing their own plays. The program culminates in live performances of the students’ work.

All 12 original 10-minute plays, written by the children and designed, produced and performed by Yale School of Drama students, will be presented on June 23 and June 24 at 7 p.m. in New Haven’s Off-Broadway Theatre, 41 Broadway. Admission is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reporters can arrange to attend workshop and rehearsal sessions to meet the Troup students as well as the Drama School students by contacting Steven Padla at the phone number above.

Chosen by Troup Principal Richard Kaliszewski based on their outstanding writing skills, DEP 2006 participants are sixth, seventh and eighth graders Takeishia Crenshaw, Lamar Folnson, Jebrell Hooks, Amanda John, Oludare Joseph, Olugbenga Joseph, Nyah Macklin, Tau Macklin, Niajah Manley, Lisnette Rodriguez, Cerise Wiley and Inasia Woods.  Several of the students are returning for a second season.

The staff members and mentors of DEP 2006 are all students in the Yale School of Drama. They include Jeff Rogers (Managing Director), Stephanie Ybarra (Program Director), Snehal Desai (Director), Michael Walkup (Director), Zane Pihlstrom and Brenda Davis (Set/Costume Designers).  Mentors include Monica Achen, Nastaran Ahmadi, Amy Boratko, Michael Braun, Brian Burns, Erin Felgar, Jason Fitzgerald, Dorothy Fortenberry, Joseph Parks, Gamal Palmer, Bryce Pinkham and Jamel Rodriguez.

Michael Bernard, former artistic associate director of the 52nd Street Project, will teach the “playmaking” portion of the program.

This program was first launched 11 years ago, and remains an outstanding success. Ruth M. Feldman, manager of educational programs at the Drama School, says, “This program is extraordinary, because it provides a spotlight for young writers who might otherwise not have that opportunity.”

DEP 2006 is supported in part by the Jane Marcher Foundation, Yale University Office of New Haven and State Affairs and individual donors.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325