Young Artists and Writers Project

Tom Kochie

Six short plays written and performed by local middle school students will be presented at Stony Brook Southampton on Saturday, May 12, at 7 PM as the culminating event of the 2018 Young Artists and Writers Project Middle School Playwriting program.

Playwrights for the festival were drawn from YAWP playwriting classes at Bridgehampton, Pierson, Ross School, and Shelter Island.

The Middle School Playwrights Festival represents a collaboration between student playwrights, actors, and designers who have been taught and mentored by theater and writing professionals affiliated with Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA in Creative Writing and Literature, which created and sponsors the YAWP programs. Professional directors stage the plays, which encompass an array of genres — from comedies to dramas — with subject matter drawn from the students’ own lives.

YAWP is helmed by Executive Director Emma Walton Hamilton and Program Director Will Chandler.

“Dramatic writing and production skills give young people unparalleled lessons in communication and collaboration,” said Hamilton, a bestselling children’s book author, editor, and arts educator.

“They build confidence, and have a direct impact on young people’s abilities to become engaged and compassionate citizens in later life. This project represents a wonderful synergy between all the creative disciplines and values about which we are passionate.”

“When we go into schools, we work closely with classroom teachers as we convey the basic elements of dramatic writing,” Chandler, an American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship screenwriter, added.

More than 100 students participated in the YAWP this spring. One play from each participating class was then selected for production in the festival.

The festival takes place at the Avram Theater, in the Fine Arts Building on the campus of Stony Brook Southampton.

Tickets for the performance are free. For reservations and more information, email [email protected].

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