Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Peter Dinklage, Jessica Hecht, Keira Naughton, Among Those Pairing Up with Young Playwrights at 52nd Street Project

I received this yesterday, courtesy of publicist Blake Zidell:


Plays are collaborations between Project kids and mentor-performers including Peter Dinklage, Jessica Hecht, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Keira Naughton and James Yaegashi

Presentations culminate The Project's biannual Playmaking series, in which adult theater professionals work with kids in writing, performing and directing one-act plays

The weekend of December 5-7, The 52nd Street Project will present Let Me Put It This Way: The Straight Talk Plays at The Public Theater. To create the plays, kids (ages 9-11) from the Hell's Kitchen (Clinton) neighborhood are collaborating with accomplished professionals such as Peter Dinklage, Jessica Hecht, Celia Keenan-Bolger and James Yaegashi, who will perform alongside kids in the show.

Performances of Let Me Put It This Way will take place Friday, December 5 at 7:30 P.M., Saturday, December 6 at 3:00 P.M. and 7:30 P.M. and Sunday, December 7 at 3:00 P.M. Admission is free, but reservations should be made in advance by calling 212.642.5052. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.

Let Me Put It This Way is the culmination of this year's Playmaking series, the first step in the theatrical education that The 52nd Street Project gives its kids. In Playmaking, ten children enroll in a nine-week playwriting course taught by Associate Artistic Director, Reg Flowers. At the end of the course, the kids are taken (along with their volunteer adult dramaturge/director) out of town for a "writer's retreat" in the countryside. After writing their own plays, each child is given a professional cast to complete the expression of his or her personal vision.

The finished plays enjoy a three-day run at an Off-Broadway theater in Manhattan. The Project produces two Playmaking programs each year: one that ends in December, and another that concludes in March. Playmaking performances, like all of the Project's shows, are presented for free to the general public.

The theater professionals who will be acting with the kids include Uzo Aduba, Tim Cain, John Ellison Conlee, Zenzele Cooper, Peter Dinklage, Tom Riis Farrell, Kevin Geer, Sevan Greene, Jessica Hecht, Kathy Hiler, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Sue Jean Kim, Keira Naughton, Armando Riesco, Diana Rojas, Sharon Washington, Joe White and James Yaegashi. The plays are directed by Jonathan Bernstein, Maria Goyanes, Leslie Kramer, Davis McCallum, Rick Meese, John Sheehy, Felix Solis, Sarah Cameron Sunde, Maureen Towey and Nicole Watson. To help write the music for many of these one-acts, The Project has elicited the assistance of the composer Patrick Barnes.

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