On Saturday, May 19, 2012, Touchstone Theatre will present the seventh annual Young Playwrights' Festival, a showcase of original one-act plays written by students ages 8-15 and brought to life by the Touchstone Ensemble, invited guest directors, and professional and community actors from across the Lehigh Valley. The Young Playwrights' Festival will take place in Zoellner Arts Center's Baker Hall at 7pm, followed by the Gala Dessert Reception & Live/Silent Auction Fundraiser.
The 2012 Young Playwrights' Festival will feature plays written during Touchstone's Young Playwrights' Lab (YPL), an eight-week afterschool playwriting program offered in collaboration with Bethlehem and Allentown public school teachers. In YPL, Touchstone Theatre teaching artists use theatre and writing exercises to teach playwriting fundamentals such as monologue, dialogue, character development, plot, and conflict-culminating in each student writing his or her original one-act play.
The seven plays that will be performed in the 2012 Young Playwrights' Festival were selected from over 90 submissions. These include The Sad Story of Mrs. Donut Person by Biance Acosta (Central Elementary), The Crazy Adventure on Mt. Everest by Evan Cartwright (Freemansburg Elementary), The Science Experiment That Went Wrong! by Elena Myalo (Broughal Middle), The Jungle by Nadie Rivera (Donegan Elementary), Inseparable by Leonardo Rodriguez (Trexler Middle), Man's Best Friend by Emily Rojas (Central Elementary), and What Happens in the Club Stays at the Club by Rosy Vargas (Lincoln Leadership Academy).
"The Young Playwrights' Festival is a celebration of youthful imagination, brought to the stage by Touchstone and our community of local artists." said Cathleen O'Malley, Touchstone Theatre Education Director and Ensemble Member. "It is an evening of theatre that will leave you inspired by the verve and creativity of today's young people."
The Young Playwrights' Lab (YPL) is one of Touchstone's ArtsTouch education programs, which helps fulfill Touchstone's mission to provide educational and enriching arts experiences to children and adults in the community. YPL was designed in collaboration with Bethlehem Area School District teachers to improve student attitudes towards literacy and encourage students to cultivate skills of creativity, communication, and self-expression. Since its inception, the program has served hundreds of students across the Lehigh Valley.
The annual Dessert Gala & Live/Silent Auction Fundraiser is held in Lehigh University's Art Gallery. The YPF Gala offers a chance for the audience to meet the Touchstone Ensemble, enjoy sumptuous desserts and an open bar, and the opportunity to bid on live and silent auction items. Items include an overnight stay in the French Quarters Hotel in NYC, a Lehigh Valley hot air balloon ride, and tickets-for-two for Bette Midler's annual Hulaween! spectacular in New York City. Proceeds from ticket sales and auction items benefit Touchstone Theatre and its ArtsTouch education programs.
Tickets for the Festival are $10; tickets for the Festival & Gala are $75. Tickets can be ordered over the phone by calling Touchstone's box office at (610) 867-1689 or online at www.touchstone.org. Discounted rates are available for groups of ten or more.