The Young Playwrights’ Lab offers Lehigh Valley youth grades 3-12 a means to explore playwriting and theatrical performance, to foster literacy, toSONY DSC strengthen core academic skills, and to discover his or her creative “voice.”  The program was developed in collaboration with Bethlehem Area School District teachers to inspire local students to embrace literacy.  To learn the fundamentals of playwriting, students engage in exercises that encourage creativity, sharing, listening, team building and conflict resolution.  The structure and activities of the program allow students to express their creative voices in a positive, supportive environment thereby improving communication skills and enhancing self-esteem. Students and teachers work with Touchstone’s professional teaching artists, learning the tools and techniques to share their stories.

???????????????????????????????The program runs 8 weeks, twice a week for 60-90 minutes, and is offered as an afterschool program.  The teaching artists teach basic theatre skills, including games and improvisation, which provide the creative basis for characters, scenarios and text that become the building blocks for students’ original writing.  Journaling and other complementary writing activities teach monologue and dialogue writing, character and plot development, and other fundamentals of playwriting.  Finally, students are guided through the process of editing and giving constructive critique.  Using these tools, all student participants compose scene, which is then expanded into a one-act play.

At the conclusion of the program, 6-8 exceptional plays are selected to be performed live onstage at the annual Young Playwrights’ Festival.  The plays are directed by the Touchstone Ensemble and special guests, with performances by the Touchstone company and other professional and community actors.

For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit www.touchstone.orgYP-2011-3S0245343S028324

The Young Playwrights’ Lab has served a diverse population of students with Bethlehem and Allentown Public Schools and across the Lehigh Valley.  School sites have included:

  • Broughal Middle School
  • Centennial School of Lehigh University
  • Central Elementary
  • Donegan Elementary
  • East Hills Middle School
  • Easton Area Academy
  • Freemansburg Elementary
  • Liberty High School
  • Lincoln Elementary
  • Lincoln Leadership Charter School
  • Marvine Elementary
  • Nitschmann Middle School
  • Thomas Jefferson Elementary
  • Regional Academic Standards Academy
  • Saucon Valley Middle School
  • South Mountain Middle School
  • Thomas Jefferson Elementary
  • Trexler Middle School???????????????????????????????

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