LAMusArt’s first ever Playmaking performance took place on Monday, December 4th, at the USC Scene Dock Theatre. FIRST CLASS: THE INAUGURAL PLAYS featured eleven original plays written by eleven LAMusArt students.LAMusArt shared the joyful evening of two volumes with an audience full of family, friends, and supporters.
The Playmaking program began in early October, and continued for ten weeks leading up to the culminating performance. For the first seven weeks, the kid playwrights learned the fundamentals of dramatic writing during their weekly lessons. On Play Day, a day-long writing retreat, each playwright was paired with an adult to help guide them through the creative writing process. The plays were completed on Play Day and went straight into rehearsal the following day. With the tremendous help of 21 actors, 11 director/dramaturges, and various volunteers, each student’s play was brought to life in a fully-produced live event.
“It takes so much work to put on a production like this – eleven different plays with eleven different points of view. We are so proud of our team, and most importantly, our students for an amazing night of theater,” said Executive Director, Manuel Prieto.
FIRST CLASS: THE INAUGURAL PLAYS presented a wide array of different themes along with a diverse slate of original characters, including a three year old pizza, a dog ghost, a sea turtle king, and a budding fashion designer to name a few. Each play also featured original music with lyrics written by the kid playwrights and music composed by LAMusArt Music Director, Austin Chanu.
“Every play was so different so it was a unique challenge to write the music.I was so impressed with the kids’ ability to write such touching lyrics!” said Chanu.
The Playmaking performance was a great success in allowing LAMusArt students to present their own work and to feeling proud of themselves in their creative endeavors.
“The idea behind Playmaking is that the kids receive an experience of pride and ownership. The skills they garner throughout the process is an added bonus. It’s so special that all of these actors and directors treat the kid’s work with the same attention they would an adult’s work,” said Playmaking Manager, Tahnee Cadrez.
The eleven kid playwrights for FIRST CLASS: THE INAUGURAL PLAYS included Abraham Aguiar, Aubrey Arias, Enzo Chavez, Diamond Fierro, Helena Minguet, Ethan Neal, Natalia Rosales, Sayer Uribe, Alice Weiss, Margaret Weiss, and Diana Zayas.
The adult dramaturge/directors included Burton Chaikin, Judy Chaikin, Sarah Cho, Alejandra Cisneros, Patricia Garza, Anton Handel, Luke Kanter, Jonathan Munoz Proulx, Maria Pasquarelli, Pia Shah, Nathan Singh, Armando Torres Pina, and Ashley Wellman.
The adult actors included Lauren Blumenfeld, Chae Chaput, Kate Chindlund, Benjamin Crutcher, Cole Cuomo, Dylan Dawson, Alisa De Los Santos, Evan Enderle, Andrew Erath, Cecilia Fairchild, Eduardo Fernandez-Baumann, Delanie Fischer, Corey Johnson, Andrea Limon, Vella Lovell, Christine Mantilla, Frank Martinelli, Jake Minton, Pia Shah, Caitlin Stegemoller, and Armando Torres Pina. Costumes were designed by Manuel Prieto, lighting was designed by Michelle Black, and sound was designed by Jose Fletes.
For photos of Volume 1, please click here.
For photos of Volume 2, please click here.
Photography provided by CBGRPHY.
The LAMusArt Playmaking program is funded in part by the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation, and the Awesome Foundation, with in-kind support from the USC School of Dramatic Arts.