outh Company Playwright Festival returns to Warwick June 12

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:13

    WARWICK-The instructors and students at Warwick's MCC Actor Training School recently thought they were ending the year with a bang when 50 students attended the Tony favored hit musical, "Wicked." They also felt special when MCC Theater's latest new play, "Frozen," which the students saw in March, became a hit and moved to Broadway. Warwick's MCC Actor Training School is affiliated with MCC Theater. But the icing on the cake will be MCC's Second Annual Youth Playwright Festival right here in Warwick. The event will be held at The Warwick Valley Community Center, Doc Fry Stage, on Saturday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. "Once again," said Donna Haley, director of MCC Actor Training School, "the students have written funny, tender, poetic, and piercing theater pieces. I am always amazed at the scope and depth and humor of the plays. We have 14 this year and each is a personal journey by the young playwrights." According to Haley, the students' inspiration is drawn from the school's link with the MCC Theater Youth Company in New York City. Students work with the Youth Company throughout the year at its home base in New York City. This year, she explained, was a special treat, however, because the NYC students, who are mostly from Queens and the Bronx, also spent a full day's workshop in Warwick. "That day," said Haley, "was pivotal for many of the students." "They could really flesh out their ideas over the whole day and get valuable feedback both from the city kids as well as the professional actors from the theater. What we've come up with is a diverse and fascinating program of highly personal exploration." And there's more. The students in the ages nine to 13 group of the MCC Basic Acting Class have come up with a mini- festival of their own. They presented six original plays on Friday, June 4. The Adult Acting group has also created it's own original evening, "Life, Love, and Lies," which was recently presented. "In the spring," said Haley, "creating our own plays has always been our focus at the school. I believe each and every one of us has a story that can stop your heart, or start it laughing. Many of these students are surprised at how easy the writing can be when they have an immediate and supportive outlet for it." Two of the students, Chris Sullivan and Eliza Mack, have been honored to have their plays chosen for professional production this summer at the Summer Playwright Festival held at the Colleen Dewhurst Theater in Mt. Kisco, NY. During the summer, the MCC Actor Training School will offer a week long workshop for preteens, ages 9 - 13. "We will definitely be acting," said Haley, "but developing original work will also be part of the fun"