We are pleased to announce that 17‐year‐year senior at Repertory Company High School Darleny Suriel will pen a world premiere play for the ninth annual Student Production Workshop, under the mentorship of Elizabeth Dunn Ruiz.
Student Production Workshop (SPW) is a student‐run theatre company. By creating and driving their own theatrical productions, SPW re‐engages kids with their current education.
The world premiere Student Production Workshop production is performed Sunday, August 9 at 2:00pm & 7:00pm and Monday, August 10 at 2:00pm & 7:00pm at the 62‐seat Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. Tickets are FREE. The public reading of the first draft is on Monday, May 11.
The 2015 SPW company includes: playwright Darleny Suriel (Repertory Company High School), director Maury Mayen (Repertory Company High School), assistant director Khadim Diop (Repertory Company High School), managing director Fernando Mota (Curtis High School), stage manager Kimberly Aragon (Repertory Company High School) and production manager Brittany Bencivenga (Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School).
Student Production Workshop participants are under the mentorship of a team of Roundabout Professional Teaching Artists and staff: Kim Oria (producer), Jason Jacobs (directing), Jennifer Varbalow (sets), Deanna Freiman (costumes), Joe Doran (lighting), Nick Moore (sound) and Leah Reddy (marketing).
Education at Roundabout’s SPW is a student‐led theatre company modeled after Roundabout’s professional theatre production process. Students register at the beginning of the school year, and participate in workshops and attend Roundabout productions throughout the fall and winter. In October, students apply for leadership positions (Artistic Director, Assistant Director, Managing Director, Production Manager, and Stage Manager), and once they are selected, they lead the ensemble through a series of workshops and show visits. To enhance their leadership skills, the student leaders meet with their counterparts at Roundabout throughout the process. They also meet artists from all Roundabout mainstage productions. The participants, who hail from all five boroughs, are offered a safe environment to create art that interests and excites them.
Playwright participants work with SPW throughout the year. In the fall participants meet once a week for two months and participate in a series of workshops to build their playwriting skills, followed by a five‐session playwright intensive, during which they write a scene or one‐act play. The playwrights then submit their finished pieces to the SPW leaders, who direct and produce a reading, giving the playwright’s a chance to hear their work out loud and get feedback from the audience.
After the winter reading participants are invited to interview and present an original idea for a play to the SPW producer and playwright mentor to be considered as the final Student Production Workshop production. Once a playwright is selected, they work with the playwright mentor to create their original play.
In May the SPW leaders produce a reading of the first draft of the play, allowing the playwright to hear the play out loud with actors and an audience. After the reading, the playwright takes the feedback and works with the mentor to edit and finish their play. The leaders than lead the full company of actors and designers— chosen through an audition and interview process —through several months of rehearsal, leading up to a final performance. The full SPW company of actors, designers, and technicians are chosen in June to rehearse and produce the play. While mentored by education staff, the students are solely responsible for all artistic and managerial decisions through the production process.
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