About New Noises and the Festival
Click here to view photos of the festival.
In April, Boston Playwrights' Theatre hosts high schools at the Massachusetts Young Playwrights' Project Festival of ten-minute plays written by Massachusetts students. Plays are directed and performed script-in-hand by professional actors and directors in collaboration with the playwrights.
The festival is not a competition, but a celebration of student work. During the festival, two Featured plays from each school receive a ninety-minute rehearsal. The playwrights not only get\ to watch the professional actors and directors at work, but they are also active participants in the process, offering insights and concerns, and making changes. By the time the play is ready to present to an audience, the playwrights have already experienced a workshop development process usually reserved for professional playwrights.
Cold reading marathon
While the Featured plays are being rehearsed, participants attend the Cold Reading Marathon. In the afternoon the Finalist scripts from each of the participating schools are read by a cast of off-duty professional actors. These readings are followed by a group feedback session. The Cold Reading Marathon amounts to an open classroom on playwriting.
Professional actors and playwrights from the area may perform monologues, short plays, and/or one-act plays of their own for the students' enjoyment during the morning session. Afterwards, the actors answer questions and talk with the students about the joys and pitfalls of writing your own play and performing it.
Massachusetts high school English and Drama departments now have the opportunity to expand their educational programs in this unique and exciting way.
Participating schools collaborate with a playwriting mentor during a school residency where students write and develop a ten-minute play under the guidance of their professional playwright.