Life Stories Exchange with High Meadow Arts!
We are excited to report on Life Stories’ first Exchange experience with High Meadow Arts’ Youth Ensemble Theater!
Founder of Urban Arts Partnership, Amy Poux, now lives in Stone Ridge, NY where she developed and runs High Meadow Arts, Inc.
The idea for both companies to join forces, provide students with new performance opportunities, and initiate an Exchange was born.
“Summer Shorts” was the culmination of the year long development of the actors and playwrights in the Life Stories program. Starting in the fall of ’09 with the beginning of the acting and playwriting classes, students worked through to the next year studying theater as actors and refining original scripts as playwrights. Julia Grob and Zac Kline taught the classes all the way through to the spring ’10, when the actors and plays were handed over to New Group Associate Director Ian Morgan, who directed “Summer Shorts.”
“Rectify” was developed by High Meadow Arts’ Youth Ensemble Theater in Stone Ridge, NY. Using an improvisational process, this ensemble worked together tirelessly over two weeks to develop this play about the terms of friendship and what it means to be human.
Life Stories met up early Saturday morning and boarded a yellow ‘cheese’ bus to take all 23 members of the cast and crew upstate on the two and a half hour drive.
The young group (Y.E.T.) that makes up the Youth Ensemble Theater greeted us with open arms at the High Meadow Performing Arts Center. After taking in the fresh country air and the beautiful surroundings, both groups came together to engage in some ice-breaker and warm-up games.
Then it was time to get down to working: the groups rehearsed and tooks turns teching in the new space–a converted red barn!
We had a full house for the first full performance of both our shows. We wish we could have stayed longer, but Life Stories had to jump back on the cheese bus for the return journey to prepare for the next day’s hosting duties and show.
Even after a long Saturday, Life Stories was up and ready to go on Sunday at the 52nd Street Projects 5 Angels Theater. Students immediately began a tech run in the new space.
We were eager to greet our new High Meadow Arts’ friends who arrived from their journey and began teching their show.
The final performance of the combined shows was powerful! The packed house gave us a standing ovation!
We then celebrated the Exchange’s success with a Reception—where New Yorkers from Stone Ridge and the city mingled and spoke with us about our process and our plays.