Touchstone Young Playwrights’ Festival Celebrates Tenth Anniversary
Local Students and Touchstone Professionals Create a Magical Night of Theatre
Bethlehem, PA – Touchstone Theatre presents the landmark tenth year of its acclaimed Young Playwrights’ Festival. This showcase of new plays written by local elementary and middle school students performs on May 16th at Zoellner Arts Center’s Baker Hall. The full evening includes a preshow celebration in Butz Lobby and a post-show gala reception in the Lehigh University Art Galleries.
“To many loyal supporters of the program, the Young Playwrights’ Festival is the most magical night of theatre of the year,” says Lou Cinquino, Festival Committee Chair. “And the Gala Reception that follows the performance makes it possible for Touchstone to maintain the Young Playwrights’ Lab program—one of the Valley’s signature school-based arts education programs.”
Young Playwrights’ Lab is an eight-week arts and literacy residency developed by Touchstone and the Bethlehem Area School District using theatre as a “Trojan Horse” to improve student attitudes toward writing and creative self-expression. Through theatre improvisation, writing exercises, and collaborative critique, each student writes an original one-act play. Those plays are then submitted for consideration to be performed in the annual Young Playwrights’ Festival. This year, over 100 plays were submitted and six exceptional scripts were chosen for full production in the Festival. Directed by Touchstone’s ensemble of artists, the plays are performed by Touchstone actors, community performers, and students from area schools.
This year’s participating Young Playwrights’ Lab schools include Broughal Middle, Calypso Elementary, Central Elementary, Farmersville Elementary, Freemansburg Elementary, Harrison Morton Middle, Lincoln Leadership Academy, Lincoln Elementary, and Nitschmann Middle School.
The festival evening opens with a preshow party to celebrate the landmark year, featuring cash bar, mocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a family-friendly raffle. Student playwrights will be in attendance, as well as longtime festival cast members and partners.
After the performance, the celebration of creative expression continues in the Lehigh University Art Galleries with a gala dessert reception and auction. Gala attendees get a chance to mingle with the Touchstone Ensemble, enjoy sumptuous drinks and desserts, view the current exhibit, and further support Touchstone and its ArtsTouch education programs through live and silent auction.
Touchstone’s season is sponsored by First Generation, an integrated marketing communications company, and RCN. Media sponsorship is provided by WDIY, and print sponsorship is provided by Working Dog Press. For the third year, the Young Playwrights’ Festival Naming Sponsor is Lehigh Valley Health Network. PPL supports as a Festival Sponsor.
The Tenth Annual Young Playwrights’ Festival takes place on Saturday, May 16, 2015. The preshow Tenth Anniversary Celebration begins at 6:00pm in Butz Lobby; theatre doors to Baker Hall open at 7:00pm for the 7:30pm festival performance. Tickets are $10 for the Celebration, $10 for the Festival, and $75 for the Festival, Celebration, and Gala. Advance tickets may be purchased at 610-867-1689 or online at www.touchstone.org
Founded in 1981, Touchstone Theatre produces and presents both original and classic productions, with a dedication to the renewal of theatre as a vital art form. Touchstone works to foster collaboration on a local and national level through educational and youth empowerment programs, using theatre as a community-building tool. Visit us on the web at www.touchstone.org