Young playwrights and School of Drama students team up to stage original works

New Haven middle school students in a classroom
Eight original one-act plays created by New Haven middle school students will be presented June 16-17 at the Off Broadway Theatre, 41 Broadway.(Photo by Emalie A. Mayo)

Eight original one-act plays created by New Haven middle school students will be presented Friday-Saturday, June 16-17 at 7 p.m. at the Off Broadway Theatre, 41 Broadway.

This year’s performances, which will take place at 7 p.m., are titled “DE(e)P Connections — Think About It!” Admission is free, the public is invited.

The production is part of the Dwight/Edgewood Project (D/EP), an initiative that pairs eight 6th- and 7th-graders from Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School, who are selected for their interest in writing and storytelling, with mentors from Yale School of Drama. For four weeks, the students work one-on-one with their mentors and a teaching artist to learn about theater and playmaking through interactive games and writing exercises. Each student then writes an original one-act play, which is designed, directed, and performed by the same Yale School of Drama artists who have served as teachers and mentors to the young playwrights.

Four plays will be presented each night. Friday’s program features “The Friendship Within Us” by Diana Perez, “The Bond Between Family” by Chris Highsmith, “Two Different People in Two Different Worlds” by Kayla Smith, and “Potion Friend” by Janaeia Morrison. Saturday’s program features “The Adventures and Friendship of Lesley and Cupcake” by Ella Santarelli, “The Wishing Shark” by Isaac Ocampo, “Helping Paw” by Lyndsey Troy, and “Binnie and Bloobly” by Jacob Chandler.

Pictured here are New Haven middle school students working with their School of Drama mentors to produce original one-act plays. (Photo by Emalie A. Mayo)
Pictured here are New Haven middle school students working with their School of Drama mentors to produce original one-act plays. (Photo by Emalie A. Mayo)

The staff of the D/EP 2017 includes Al Heartley producing director; Chad Kinsman, general manager; Sebastian Arboleda and Anna Crivelli, directors; Annie Dauber, set and prop designer; Sarah Woodham, costume designer; Katie Touart, assistant costume designer; Krista Smith, lighting designer; Megumi Katayama, sound designer; Elli Green, production stage manager; and John Bondi-Ernoehazy, technical director. Mentors include Caitlin Crombleholme, Molly Fitzmaurice, Courtney Jamison, Jake Lozano, Alex Lubischer, Patrick Madden (a Presidential Public Service Fellow), Francesca McKenzie, and Sophie Siegel-Warren. The teaching artist is Nahuel Telleria.

The Dwight/Edgewood Project 2017 is made possible in part by Yale Repertory Theatre/Yale School of Drama, Office of New Haven and State Affairs, Esme Usdan Community Youth Fund, The Lucille Lortel Foundation, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, and individual donors.

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Steven Padla: [email protected], 203-432-1574