Preview: Student playwrights prepare for festival

[media-credit name=”Maliha Ali” align=”alignnone” width=”300″]Senior Caleb Bromberg and freshman Celia Gittleman rehearse for Playwrights' Festival.[/media-credit]
Senior Caleb Bromberg and freshman Celia Gittleman rehearse for Playwrights’ Festival.
by Leah Budson

Creating a production involves much more than one might suspect.

The annual Playwrights’ Festival, which will go up Friday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, June 9 at 2 p.m. in the little theatre, is the only Theatre Ink production that features student playwriting.

The annual festival consists of nine student-written and student-directed 10-minute plays, according to senior Abby Holtzman, a director along with senior Emma Weisberg and sophomore Kelsey Fox.

All of the playwrights this year chose to direct their own play. Three choose a co-director.

Fox, Holtzman and Weisberg, the directors of the entire festival, are in charge of the organization and coordination of Playwrights’. The three, who are in charge of giving advice to all of the playwrights and directors, also each wrote and directed her own play.

“One of the special things about Playwrights’ is our focus on providing opportunities for students interested in playwriting,” said Holtzman.

“Writing a 10-minute play is a fascinating way to put characters of your own creation and a conflict on display,” she said.

“The plays start with students’ writing and are brought to life with the help of a huge group of hard-working peers.”

One person who helped the playwrights to bring their shows to life was professional Boston playwright, Walt McGough, according to Holtzman.

“A unique learning experience Playwrights’ offers is the opportunity to learn from a professional Boston playwright who visits the school to read our work and generally impart words of wisdom,” she said.

Senior Nellie Robinson, who is directing her play “Ice Cream Boy and Shutter Girl” said that “it was incredibly helpful to meet with McGough because he pinpointed the things that worked in my play and the things that were wrong with it.

Robinson’s play is about a boy from a small town who wants to escape his childhood memories, but is met with resistance from his grandma, who does not want anything to change.

“His comments ended up prompting me to rewrite it completely because my initial concept had several inherent problems.”

“My favorite part of Playwrights’ is having the opportunity to get involved from the earliest stages of creating a play and being able to shape it however you want,” Robinson said.

Holtzman said she wanted to be a director because “directing felt like the closest I could get to the heart of Playwrights’.”

In the end, Holtzman’s favorite part of the festival is “seeing plays develop from draft to draft, seeing playwrights develop into directors or co-directors and seeing a festival slowly materialize from a pile of wishful thinking.”

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