Patrons of downtown Manhattan's MCC Theatre may be excited about the season opener — Rebecca Gilman's The Glory of Living, set to be directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman — but for ten high school students, there is another reason. Manhattan Class Company presents its 10th annual Summer Play Party Aug. 21-26, which will feature professional presentations of eight works by the aforementioned ten.
Chosen from many entries sent in by students all over the New York City school system, the selected young scribes will witness their words taking life on an Off- Broadway stage. The playwrights featured include Devonne Heyward, Irma Cedeno, Lina Pava, Andrew Greer, Jonathon Shukat, Yolanda Peralta, Daniel Kelley, and the team of Winston Cottman, Joseph Torres and Donald Gibson.
The program was started in 1992 by playwright-screenwriter James Bosley to inspire students to pursue writing as a creative outlet. The writers experience the process involved in play production with the people who do it for a living. The productions are split into two separate, alternating evenings, all beginning at 7 PM.
Evening A running Aug. 21, 23 and 25 features:
•Facets of Love by Devonne Heyward of Hunter College High School — a battle of the sexes in which poems are the weapons.
•One Step from Death by Irma Cedeno of High School of Graphic Communication Arts — a boy and girl can't seem to communicate, until he falls into a coma.
•A Weird Place to Learn an Important Lesson by Lina Pava from Manhattan International High School — there are times when you need to talk to someone, even if it's someone annoying.
•Me, Who? by Andrew Greer of Edward R. Murrow High School — which asks the question "How many times does a guy have to kill himself before his parents get off his case?" Evening B, which runs Aug. 22, 24 and 26 includes:
•Interturrium by Jonathon Shukat from Fieldston School — The American Revolution as fought inside his head of Thomas Jefferson.
•Reconciliation by Winston Cottman, Joseph Torres and Donald Gibson who all attend Rikers Island Educational Facility — follows two friends who part ways but both end up in trouble.
•Pedro by Yolanda Peralta from Manhattan International High School — a father searches for his son to forgive him for running away.
•The Handkerchief Bandit Rides Again by Daniel Kelley of Edward R. Murrow High School — a thief in a silly costume has the answers to someone's destiny.
For reservations, call the MCC Theater box office, 120 West 28th Street, at (212) 727-7765. There is a $5 suggested donation for adults and $1 for students. For more information on MCC, visit their URL at http://www.mcctheater.org.
— by Ernio Hernandez