Local teen playwrights get first shot at success in Milford production

MILFORD – Four local aspiring playwrights got a great Christmas present this year: The news that each of their one-act plays had been chosen to be presented Thursday-Friday, Feb. 18-19, at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts.

"It felt fantastic," said freshman Ben Shapiro, whose play "Truth or Consequences" was chosen. "You know, that my play was good enough to be picked for a real stage production."

This is the 11th season that The Riverbend School of Theater Arts, a program of the Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley, has put on its One Act Playwrighting Workshop and Festival. Student playwrights chosen this year are Shapiro, of Merrimack; Adi Brezinski, of Milford; Siraj Husainy, of Amherst; and Olivia Cashman, of Amherst.

"This is so cool," said Husainy, an eighth-grader and author of "A Teenage Wasteland." "It’s a great chance to get my work out there for other people to see."

This unique program at the Boys and Girls Club of Souhegan Valley gives aspiring playwrights an opportunity to not only see their plays come to life on the stage, but to be actively involved in the process as directors.

The students are being mentored by Toby Tarnow, a veteran professional actress and producer who has worked extensively in Canada and New York. Tarnow brings a lifetime of theater arts experience to her students, guiding and mentoring each playwright through the production process.

Previous participants in the One Act Play Festival have gone on to theatrical success, both as actors and playwrights.

"The mentoring process takes playwrights through the production process in five weeks, from casting, rehearsing, staging, as well as costuming, props, lighting and sound," said Tarnow, of Hollis. "So in that way, these kids are learning every aspect of building a theater piece from the page to the stage for an audience."

John Sheridan, a theater student in New York City who spent nine years acting in Amato Center productions, said he feels that the festival gives teens and audiences the best of the acting experience.

"It gives you a taste of what it’s like," he said, "and if you like what you find in a one-act, you can go and do a full show. And if you want to be actor, you can go on and be an actor."

The four plays on the theme of honesty will be performed at 7:30 p.m. at the Amato Center, 56 Mont Vernon St. Tickets will be available at the door for $5.

Local teen playwrights get first shot at success in Milford production

MILFORD – Four local aspiring playwrights got a great Christmas present this year: The news that each of their one-act plays had been chosen to be presented Thursday-Friday, Feb. 18-19, at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts.

"It felt fantastic," said freshman Ben Shapiro, whose play "Truth or Consequences" was chosen. "You know, that my play was good enough to be picked for a real stage production."

This is the 11th season that The Riverbend School of Theater Arts, a program of the Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley, has put on its One Act Playwrighting Workshop and Festival. Student playwrights chosen this year are Shapiro, of Merrimack; Adi Brezinski, of Milford; Siraj Husainy, of Amherst; and Olivia Cashman, of Amherst.

"This is so cool," said Husainy, an eighth-grader and author of "A Teenage Wasteland." "It’s a great chance to get my work out there for other people to see."

This unique program at the Boys and Girls Club of Souhegan Valley gives aspiring playwrights an opportunity to not only see their plays come to life on the stage, but to be actively involved in the process as directors.

The students are being mentored by Toby Tarnow, a veteran professional actress and producer who has worked extensively in Canada and New York. Tarnow brings a lifetime of theater arts experience to her students, guiding and mentoring each playwright through the production process.

Previous participants in the One Act Play Festival have gone on to theatrical success, both as actors and playwrights.

"The mentoring process takes playwrights through the production process in five weeks, from casting, rehearsing, staging, as well as costuming, props, lighting and sound," said Tarnow, of Hollis. "So in that way, these kids are learning every aspect of building a theater piece from the page to the stage for an audience."

John Sheridan, a theater student in New York City who spent nine years acting in Amato Center productions, said he feels that the festival gives teens and audiences the best of the acting experience.

"It gives you a taste of what it’s like," he said, "and if you like what you find in a one-act, you can go and do a full show. And if you want to be actor, you can go on and be an actor."

The four plays on the theme of honesty will be performed at 7:30 p.m. at the Amato Center, 56 Mont Vernon St. Tickets will be available at the door for $5.