The 2015 program launched Oct. 1 with a staging of Rumplestiltskin adapted by Beth Duda and Adam Ratner, and directed by Jason Cannon. Running through Nov. 13 at FST, the production invites student audiences from Sarasota and Manatee County schools.
The second part of the program sees FST teaching artists travel directly to the students’ classrooms as part of the Playmaker's Tour: Write It Up, Write It Down, which began Oct. 6. The playmakers teach students by using improvisation and participatory learning tools to inspire writing.
"This richly unique program exposes children to what is often their first theatrical experience, and inspires them to access their creativity and write plays of their own," said Caroline Kaiser in a press statement, FST's director of children’s theatre.
"Children write plays that adults are incapable of writing, and tell stories that adults have forgotten how to write. By teaching young people not only what plays are, but then empowering them to write their own plays," adds associate artist Cannon. "Not only is the child transformed, but the parent’s understanding of their child is exploded in the most exciting way."
Participating students are encouraged to submit their work in FST's annual Young Playwright's Festival, Under Six, which takes place in the Spring. The event allows some of the winning works to receive staged productions. Since 1991, FST's Write a Play program has introduced thousands of students to theatre and playwriting. Each year, the initiative reaches over 50,000 youth not only in Florida, but internationally in Scotland, Russia and Israel. The program reflects FST's mission to make the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. For more information visit FloridaStudioTheatre.org.