The 52nd Street Project, through which accomplished theater-makers work with Hell's Kitchen kids to create original theater, will present "Wide Open Spaces: The Outdoor Plays" January 27-29. These shows are the culmination of The Project's Two-on-Two series, in which each of six duos of kids (ages 13?15) is paired with two professionals: one who writes a play for them, and another who directs.
Admission is free, but reservations should be made in advance by visiting www.52project.org or calling 212-642-5052.
The kid actors featured in "Wide Open Spaces" are Hashem Ahmed, Michael Banister, Gabriella DeJesus, Devin Gonzales, Jasmine Hernandez, Wendell Joseph, Katie Liu, Lauren Robinson, Chamel Rodney, Edison Sibri, Mari Ulloa, and Elizabeth Vazquez.
The adults writing the plays include Dustin Chinn, Larkin Clark, Liz Flahive ("From Up Here," "Nurse Jackie"), Michael Mitnick, Christopher Oscar Pe�a, and Melisa Tien.
Directing the kids will be Molly Coogan ("Stairway to Stardom"), Rachel Dart, Katie Flahive, Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum (Fight Director: "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," "Peter and the Starcatcher"), Lee Rosen ("Gabriel," "The Normal Heart," understudy Broadway) and Michael Walkup.
Original music composed by Eric March.
The Two-on-Two series is one of the more advanced parts of the theatrical education furnished by The 52nd Street Project. After a week of working on the plays, the kids are taken (along with their volunteer adult directors) out of town for an "actors retreat" in the countryside. The finished plays enjoy a three-day run of public performances. Although the adult mentors are always present in the wings during the performances, Project kids learn to rely on and support one another on stage for the first time.
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