On Sunday evening, the Life Stories Youth Ensemble presented Wasted on the Young: A Collection of Short Plays to a packed audience at the Theater Row complex in midtown Manhattan.
These plays were the result of a collaboration: The Playwrights in Residence program brings our young actors and writers in contact with professional playwrights. The students each create a character, based on someone in his or her life. The characters are fully fleshed out in a series of exercises before the playwrights enter the scene. The professional writers then took a collection of characters, weaving them into a complete one-act play. Throughout the process, Life Stories students critiqued drafts and provided guidance and inspiration.
On stage, this collaboration took shape in a varied and emotional series of works. In Broken Speech by Christina Anderson, Olivia’s father and Ron’s mother are getting married. Like any family, this one has secrets. Or, “things everybody knows but nobody talks about.” Ron, Olivia, and her cousins Alex and Summer escape the reception to share their truths. Will Olivia share what she knows in her wedding toast, or will she escape and stay silent?
The playwrights joined the actors on stage after the performance for a talkback. They shared their thoughts on collaborating with one another, and the actors reflected on stepping into the shoes of someone they know. Thanks to all of our playwrights (Alladin Ullah, Ed Cardona, Mariana Carreno King, Christina Anderson, and Zac Kline), guest director Victor Maog, Ian Morgan and The New Group, Life Stories teaching artists and staff, and all the friends and family who attended the performance! Bravo!
To see the full photo album of the Life Stories spring performance, click here.