West Allis - Village Playhouse will present its 2016 edition of the Young Person’s Playwriting Project at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, with a final 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, Dec. 18. Performances will be at Inspiration Studios, 1500 S. 73rd St., West Allis.
Producer Tom Zuehlke explains: “Four budding high school and middle school authors spent their Wednesdays this summer learning about the art and craft of playwriting and composing these plays. These four scripts represent a youthful look at some very adult subjects, giving an interesting perspective to both context and content. It has been a pleasure to watch these talented teenagers grow and nurture their work from page to stage.”
"The Dallas Shooting" was written by Kyra Price, an eighth-grader at St. Frances Cabrini in West Bend. She was inspired to write about the shopping mall shootings because she knew someone who was there at the time.
This is veteran actor Scott Stenstrup’s first opportunity to direct a play with the Village Playhouse.
“The shooting of police officers is a very relevant topic today. It amazes me how well some of our high schoolers can write … and how imaginative they are,” he said.
"Switch" was written by Kate Highdudis, a seventh-grader at Longfellow Middle School in Wauwatosa who enjoys volunteering at the Wisconsin Humane Society. Although she has appeared on the Village Playhouse stage several times, she is excited to have her first play brought to life.
“Kate’s play is a psychological piece that gave great room for the actors to play,” according to director Rita Bates. “It is a thrill for me to encourage young playwrights by helping to bring their work to life.”
After performing in many plays with the Village Playhouse and singing with the Bel Canto Boys Chorus, Wauwatosa East ninth-grader Nicholas Hightdudis wanted to try his hand at writing a play of his own. He is thrilled to offer "Alex & Jamie."
Director Paul Zaragoza said, “Young people bring a certain energy and harness it into their craft, which is beautiful.”
“This play has two young actors going through the trouble of realizing that something or someone is dictating their every move. But they decided to let fate takes its course,” he said.
Veteran actor Scott Sorensen is honing his directing skills with "To Heal The Wounds" by Max Erickson, a senior at Waukesha West High School, who hopes to continue his studies of theater arts in college to pursue a theatrical career.
“The title is a bit disturbing, given the actions of the play,” says Sorensen. “There is a multitude of twists and turns that are sure to surprise the audience, but it’s a good show and very well written. I find it very interesting that this piece was written by a teenager.”
Tickets at $17, general, $15 for students and seniors, are available by emailing YPPP@villageplayhouse.org or by calling 414 207-4VPW. For additional information, visit the website: villageplayhouse.org.
Contributed by Erico Ortiz, founder, Inspiration Studios