Monday, August 12, 2013

High-Stakes 2.0: Letting Kids Run the Show

Kate Quarfordt


High-Stakes 2.0: Letting Kids Run the Show

Posted: 08/12/2013 8:56 am

"Oh my god, you're the playwright? It's soooo amazing to meet you!"
Brian -- my former theater student and star of the production of Les Miserábles I co-directed with students last year in the South Bronx -- fights through the crowd in the lobby of Atlantic Stage 2 in Manhattan. He's still sweating from his opening night performance ofCircuits, one of two student-written one-acts currently in production by National Theater for Student Artists.
As Brian lunges forward to hug the young playwright of Circuits, she shouts, "You were fantastic!" and they launch into a volley of overlapping compliments. The lobby around them is a jumble of whooping, high-fives and gravity-defying hugs. Audience members vie to congratulate exuberant swarms of student directors, designers, stage managers and actors -- the oldest recent college grads, the youngest fresh out of eighth grade. From across the lobby, I catch NTSA founder and executive director Victoria Chatfield's eye and wink. Judging by the jubilant reaction of this opening night crowd, her high-stakes gamble is paying off big-time.

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