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Robots, Spiders, & Love

by Allan Appel | Jun 22, 2012 1:01 pm

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Allan Appel Photo Meet a friendless fly named Dizzy eager to make friends with an arrogant French-speaking tarantula who only wants to turn her into dinner.

Meet an acorn and a breath of wind who also have a relationship problem.

And meet a married couple who discover that they are aliens and in love, but don’t know what to do next.

These characters emerge in high-spirited and zany offerings at Worlds Apart, Drawn Together, the 17th annual Dwight/Edgewood Project bill of eight one-act plays created by Augusta Lewis Troup middle-schoolers. The middle-schoolers wrote the plays after a month of intense one-on-one mentoring by Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theater actors, designers, producers, and writers.

There are only two performances, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Off Broadway Theater off York Street behind Toad’s. Tickets are free and going fast. (Call 203-432-2174.)

Over a month of intensive work, including a weekend at playwriting boot camp, participants like sixth-graders Nikolaos Constantopoulous and Paris Ransom learned not just the craft of playwriting, but also how to collaborate with the designers of costumes, sound, and light. The result: plays with sophisticated music, choreography, and whimsical costuming.

During tech rehearsal on Thursday, each young playwright sat in the big golden playwrights’ upholstered chair by the stage and watched their mentor and one other Yale School of Drama student give life to their words.

Paris Ransom, who wrote Chaotic Friendship Duo, pronounced the experience “awesome.”

Her play is about an unlikely friendship between a gust of wind and a tree who finally have a musical resolution when they vacation at Hope for Peace Beach. She said she doesn’t have a lot of friends at school but “with writing, everyone wants to be my friend.”

Paris said she wants to become a playwright as a result of the project. At a Troup awards ceremony, the sixth-grader won the school’s highest honor at excellence in writing.

The other young playwrights hoping to break a leg are Saran Toure, Saschin Choy, RaQuan Jones, Ashley Chapman, Daneel Morrison, and Kiyesha Smith.

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