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LAMusArt Introduces New Drama Program, Playmaking for Fall 2017

The Los Angeles Music and Art School is proud to announce the arrival of our newest drama program, Playmaking, where students learn the fundamentals of playwriting over the course of ten weeks. This new and immersive program engages students ages 9 – 11 in the basic tenets of writing a play and culminates in a public performance of the student-written work by professional, adult directors and actors. Playmaking is the third program to be added to the Drama department at LAMusArt, along with our popular weekly acting class, and our annual five-week musical theater program, Camp MusArt.

“After seeing the response from our summer enrichment program and our acting course, the needs and wants for more opportunities in drama discourse were apparent. We are always expanding and evolving our lessons to better serve the East LA area. Playmaking is our next step towards expanding the Drama department at LAMusArt,” said Executive Director, Manuel Prieto.

During the first seven weeks of the 10-week session, students concentrate on the academic approach to dramatic writing, focusing on basic vocabulary, structure of a play, and the concepts of character, narrative, dialogue, and stage directions. At the end of the seventh week, students will apply the skills they’ve learned during the first half of the program to create an original play and lyrics to an original song at Play Day.

Perhaps one of the most exciting experiences of Playmaking, Play Day is a day-long retreat where students will put their newfound knowledge of dramatic writing to work. Each student will be paired with an adult dramaturge who will serve as the student’s mentor, helping to guide them through their creative writing process. The day will be packed with writing exercises, stimulating games, and a family meal.

Once the plays are written, professional actors will be assigned to each play, and will rehearse with an adult director and an adult composer. At the end of the rehearsal process, students will have the opportunity to see a realized version of their original plays and songs performed and directed by adults. The inaugural session of Playmaking, starting in October 2017, will host eleven LAMusArt students, twenty-two actors and eleven directors.

Modeled after a similar program of the same name from The 52nd Street Project in New York City, Playmaking is an experiment in equitable and collaborative storytelling, and a way for students to have a unique experience of success. This academically enriching program teaches important life skills in tandem with writing skills, and offers young students a way to expand the imagination, prompting the ability to think both critically and creatively. “Playmaking aims to give the youngsters in our underserved community a chance to tell and see their own stories about their respective experiences with emotional honesty,” says Tahnee Cadrez, this session’s Playmaking Instructor.

The very first LAMusArt Playmaking performance will take place on Monday, December 4, 2017 at the Scene Dock Theater at the University of Southern California at 7:00pm. Tickets go on sale in November. LAMusArt will launch the second Playmaking session in Spring 2018.

This program is supported in part by the Awesome Foundation, and the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation, along with key supporters at the USC School of Dramatic Arts.

To add a student to the waitlist for the next Playmaking session, click here.

To learn more about our Drama department, click here.

For Tickets, please click here.


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