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25th Annual Madison Young Playwrights Festival on March 26, 2011

Playwrights Theatre is pleased to announce the 25th Annual Madison Young Playwrights Festival will be held on Saturday, March 26 from 1:00pm to 5:30pm. The Madison Young Playwrights Festival brings to life the work of young playwrights who completed a play as part of a 12-week playwriting program conducted by Playwrights Theatre in the Central Avenue School, Kings Road School, Torey J. Sabatini School, Madison Junior School and St. Vincent Martyr School. From the 50 students who participated, 21 plays were chosen and these plays will be presented with professional actors and directors.

The Festival is divided into two sessions. Attendees can attend one or both sessions. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students for one session or $15 for adults and $7.50 for students to attend both sessions. For tickets, visit www.ptnj.org or call the box office at 973-514-1787 X34. The Festival will take place at Playwrights Theatre, 33 Green Village Road in Madison, NJ.

"All of the playwrights are to be congratulated on sharing their voices," said Jim DeVivo, Director of Education. "The twenty-one playwrights whose work we will present at the Festival are currently making revisions to their scripts and will be on hand during rehearsals. It is an exciting process to watch and I look forward to seeing the plays come to life."

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In addition to the Festival, the plays will be performed at each school during the Festival week. On Thursday, March 24, the plays will be presented at 1:15pm at Kings Road School. On Friday, March 25, plays from Central Avenue School will be presented at 10:15am and Torey J. Sabatini at 1:30pm. The performance at the Madison Junior School and St. Vincent Martyr School will be scheduled at a later date.

On Monday, February 28 at 8:00pm, Mary-Anna Holden, Mayor of Madison, proclaimed March "Madison Young Playwrights Month". The proclamation was held at the 2nd Floor Council Chamber at the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building at 50 Kings Road.

"It is hard to believe this is the quarter-century mark for this unique and valuable program," said John Pietrowski, Artistic Director. "In the past 25 years, we have worked with over 2,000 Madison school children and have presented over 400 pieces of student writing. Some of our earliest crop of playwrights are 43 years old and a few are involved in the theatre or related fields."

The following student's plays will be presented this year:
Greta and Lucci by Lucciana Happe (Central Avenue School)
Friendship by Gaetano Pace (Central Avenue School)
Haley's Worst Enemy by Audrey Tolbert (Central Avenue School)
The Christmas Nightmare by Trent Wyhopen (Central Avenue School)
Saving Jojo by Aileen Bergin (St. Vincent Martyr School)
There's Nothing to Do! by Finn Gannon (St. Vincent Martyr School)
Invisible by Lauren Heitsenrether (St. Vincent Martyr School)
The Lost Emerald by Brendan O'Reilly (St. Vincent Martyr School)
Mountain of Broken Dreams by Kayla Bailey (Torey J. Sabatini School)
The Beat of Tom McKeller by Rob J. Bazaral (Torey J. Sabatini School)
Trapped by Emily Chopoorian (Torey J. Sabatini School)
Where's the Golden Monkey by Vivien Sherman (Torey J. Sabatini School)
Space Out by Kathryn Wilt (Torey J. Sabatini School)

The March of the Unicorns by Ellie Culin (Kings Road School)
Teenage Dreams by Justice Forschner (Kings Road School)
Detective Elmar on the Case by Caroline Harting (Kings Road School)
Electric Man by Christopher Penev (Kings Road School)
Coward vs. Forest by Michael Bennett (Madison Junior School)
The Plan by Christina Lu (Madison Junior School)
Fame by Emilee Maas (Madison Junior School)
The Lucky Socks by Francesco Pace (Madison Junior School)

Carolyn Hunt is currently teaching a playwriting residency at Madison High School. They will present an in school staged reading of select plays when the residency concludes in April. This reading will include high school students working alongside professional actors.
Throughout the year, Playwrights Theatre placed teaching artists in the aforementioned schools in Madison. At specific points in the residency, parents were invited to listen to the works in progress at roundtable readings. These teaching artists and the program are a part of Playwrights Theatre's Madison Young Playwrights Program, a partnership with the Madison Board of Education and an initiative of the New Jersey Writers Project, Artists-in-the-Schools, a co-sponsored program with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Playwrights Theatre's New Jersey Writers Project brings seasoned teaching artists into the classroom to help students and teachers discover the joy of writing, performing and being creative. Educators and Parent Teacher Organizations have discovered that a professional writer in the classroom greatly enhances skills not only in reading and writing, but across the curriculum as well. In addition to in-school residencies, after-school programs and residencies completely in Spanish are available, as well as Professional Development workshops and seminars for teachers, licensed by the New Jersey Department of Education.

For more information about the Madison Young Playwrights Festival, Playwrights Theatre mainstage series, Creative Arts Academy classes for children, teens and adults at the theatre, Summer Camp, in-school residencies or FORUM reading series, please visit www.ptnj.org or call (973) 514-1787 X10.

Funding for the Madison Young Playwrights Festival is provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/A Partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the F.M. Kirby Foundation, Travelers Foundation, Dalba Goeller and Company, LLP, Investors Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, The Pearsall Family Foundation, Madison Rotary Clubs, and the Madison Board of Education. 

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