Young Island thespians perform in Southampton

COURTESY PHOTO Three young Shelter Island thespians performed Saturday night at the Young Artists and Writers Project program at the Stony Brook Southampton Avram Theater as part of the East End Middle School program to demonstrate their talents. The three — (l-r) Olivia Overstreet, Emma Martinez and Evan Schack — performed in a play called “The Space Schism.”

COURTESY PHOTO Three young Shelter Island thespians performed Saturday night at the Young Artists and Writers Project program at the Stony Brook Southampton Avram Theater as part of the East End Middle School program to demonstrate their talents. The three — (l-r) Olivia Overstreet, Emma Martinez and Evan Schack — performed in a play called “The Space Schism.”

It was an evening that demonstrated the talents of middle school students from four East End schools, including Shelter Island, as three students from here performed at Stony Brook’s Southampton Avram Theater.
Olivia Overstreet, Emma Martinez and Evan Schack performed in “The Space Schism,” one of six plays presented Saturday night as part of the Young Artists and Writers Project (YAWP) Middle School Playwriting Program.

Playwriting classes at held at the schools — Shelter Island, Bridgehampton, Pierson and Ross — and the festival is an opportunity for them to demonstrate what they have learned about playwriting, acting, designing sets.

The students are mentored by theater and writing professionals affiliated with Stony Brook’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Literature Program and they work with professional directors to stage their plays that are developed from their own experiences.

YAWP also works with high school students in development of creative expression and critical thinking through writing.

“Dramatic writing and production skills give young people unparalleled lessons in communication and collaboration,” YAWP Executive Director Emma Walton Hamilton said. “They build confidence and have a direct impact on young people’s abilities to become engaged and compassionate citizens in later life,” she said.

The spring middle school playwriting residency program was open to 100 students and one play from each participating class was selected for the festival.

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