Left to right: Nicholas Matzoros (of Ardsley), Ardsley High School; Fleuranda Metellus (of Stamford), Stamford High School; Daniel Robinson (of Stamford), Stamford High School; Itchell Banegas (of Stamford), Stamford High School, Teaching Artist Mathilde Dratwa (of New York City); Julie Smith (of Croton-on-Hudson), Croton-Harmon High School; Paola Roach (of Fairfield), Fairfield Warde High School; Michael Busani (of Old Greenwich), Greenwich High School; and Krissy Kendall (of Stratford), Greenwich Academy. (contributed photo)
Stamford, CT - On Monday, May 22, The Palace Theatre presented the 4th annual Young Playwrights Festival, "Script to Stage," the culmination of a seven-week arts education program for high school students in devised theatre, improvisation, acting and creative writing. Nine Fairfield and Westchester County students performed an original one-act play they conceived and wrote under the guidance of teaching artist Mathilde Dratwa.
While working at The Palace, students learned how to collaboratively brainstorm, write and revise their work. Every word was written by the ensemble -- from the title to the last period. The staged reading also included non-acting roles for students who wished to work behind the scenes in directing, lighting or sound.
“Our Young Playwrights program exposes students to the pillars of dramatic writing,” said Carol Bryan, Director of Education at The Palace. “Each class includes exercises in ensemble building, trust, focus and projection while increasing the students' confidence, particularly while speaking in front of a group.”
Young Playwrights teaching artist Mathilde Dratwa launched the Drama Department of the International School of Toulouse in France where she taught full-time for two years; she devised the curriculum, delivered classes and workshops. Now based in New York, Dratwa works as a teaching artist for the New Victory, the Roundabout Theatre Company, the Shakespeare Society and Red Bull Theater Company. She holds a BA in English Literature and a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education as an English and Drama teacher, both from Cambridge University, as well as a masters in Classical Acting from the Drama Centre London.
The Young Playwrights Festival is an Arts Education Program made possible for the fourth consecutive year by Pitney Bowes.
The Palace Theatre is located at 61 Atlantic Street in Stamford, CT. They can be reached at (203) 325-4466 or by visiting www.palacestamford.org. For the latest news and updates, follow @ThePalaceTheatreStamford on Facebook and @PalaceStamford on Twitter.