Encore Michigan

Matrix Theatre Teen Company to present self-written plays in October

NewsYouth/Family September 28, 2016 Encore Staff

DETROIT—Matrix Theatre Teen Company members spent the summer working with renowned playwright Noah Haidle to independently write original plays. The plays will be presented as readings at a two evening showcase, Writers’ Blocks, Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22, at 7:30 pm at Matrix Theatre Company, at 2730 Bagley in the heart of Detroit’s Mexicantown.

The plays are based on ideas and themes which had personal significance to each participant. “We are so glad to see that students are taking ownership of their creative work,” said Amy Thomas, Matrix Theatre Company’s Director of Education. “A benefit of this process is that, now, students will be able to submit their creative work to festivals and colleges, as they continue to plan for their future. Although not every student will pursue playwriting as a career, the skills they have learned from this will be highly useful as they continue their education.”

The young playwrights writings offer something for everyone, from a sexy and funny presentation to a mystery thriller. Participants include Gabby Clayton, Western International High School, presenting Girl Code vs Guy Code; Yasir Muhammad, Detroit Edison Public School Academy (DEPSA), presenting His Path; Denasia Robinson, homeschooled, presenting Carolina; Joelle Sanders, Cass Technical High School, presenting Mixed; Alondra Vazquez, Western International High School, presenting Hollow Wall; and April Wilson, DEPSA, with Don’t Look Back and also a work by Autumn Johnson who attends DEPSA.Matrix teens plan to utilize their newly honed playwriting skills, along with valuable audience feedback, to collectively develop a play to be produced in Spring of 2017.

Noah Haidle is a distinguished playwright whose plays have premiered at the Goodman Theatre, Lincoln Center Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, the Huntington Theatre Company, Long Wharf Theatre Woolly Mammouth Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Summer Play Festival in New York City, HERE Arts Center, as well as many others around the United States and abroad. He is a graduate of Princeton University and The Juilliard School, where he was a Lila Acheson Wallace playwright-in-residence. He is the recipient of three Lincoln Center Lecompte Du Nouy awards, the 2005 Helen Merrill Award for emerging playwrights, the 2007 Claire Tow Award and an NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Grant.

Ticket prices for Writers Blocks’ are $8 adults, $5 students and seniors. To order tickets, or for further information, go to www.matrixtheatre.org, or call 313 967 0599. Some content is suitable for adult audiences.

Celebrating more than 25 years as a non-profit, community-based theatre, Matrix Theatre Company is located in southwest Detroit and changes lives, builds community and fosters social justice through theatre. Go to matrixtheatre.org for further information.

The Matrix Teen Company consists of high school students from the Detroit area who write, produce, and act in a full season of plays each year which draws attention to crucial community issues.

Photo by Molly McMahon: Teen Theatre member Gabby Clayton works at writing her play

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