“Making Waves” in the Hilltowns

Chester Theatre Company Presents: Making Waves
An Evening of Professionally Produced, Student Written One-Act Plays
November 20 and 21, 2009

Six student-written one act plays fitting the theme Making Waves will be presented on November 20 and 21 at the Gateway Performing Arts Center in Huntington, MA. This semester’s playwrights are Iris Delaney, Allison Garriepy, Jordan Roberts, Peter Rochford, Samantha Sawyer and Lily Wyand.

These are not your typical student plays. Written by sixth grade students at Gateway Regional Middle School, the plays are produced by The Chester Theatre Company, which teams professional actors, directors and designers with the student playwrights to help bring their creative visions to life. The program is now in its fifth year, and the latest evening of truly unique one-act plays – Making Waves – will be presented at 7 p.m. on each night. Tickets, which are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students, will be sold at the door. Proceeds help fund work by future student playwrights.

The six plays are the culmination of an after-school playwriting course followed by a weekend writing retreat led by CTC Artistic Director Byam Stevens. At the retreat, each playwright is matched with a professional director, who acts as a mentor through the creative process.

According to Stevens, “The range of material, the imagination and heart that surfaces in each new group of young playwrights at Gateway never ceases to amaze.”

The Gateway Playwriting Project, which was developed in partnership with the UMASS Amherst Department of Theater, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School and the Gateway Regional School District, is the recipient of the prestigious Champion of Arts Education Award from the Massachusetts Alliance of Arts Educators. The project has also inspired a Creative Teaching Partner Award by the Massachusetts Cultural Council to Chester Theatre Company.

The Gateway Playwriting Project is funded through the generous support of the Art Angels; Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; Conklin Office Supply; Credit Data Services Inc. Fund; Lochridge-Watkins Charitable Foundation administered by Bank of America, Trustee; a Massachusetts Cultural Council Creative Schools Grant, a state agency; Shurtleff Children’s Services of Westfield; United Bank Foundation; and the Westfield Bank Future Fund.

In addition to its professional season, CTC coordinates a wide range of theatre education outreach for youth of all ages. For more information, visit chestertheatre.org or call 413-354-7770.

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