"I enjoyed the show . . . Amazingly talented youngsters! What a great opportunity you're giving them. Wishing you all the best in continuing to offer this gift to the community." - Mary Newton Rose, Greenfield
Engage your community with the stories that matter to you!
Valley Playwright Mentoring (VPM) is an afterschool theatre program for teens ages 13 and up. No previous theatre experience is required!
Participants create a performance or podcasts based on stories from their lives that is shared with the community. Teens who complete the program receive a stipend. Space is limited to 12 participants per group.
PODCASTS 1.0 (Note some scenes may be more suitable for ages 13+)
VPM is offered in Greenfield and Holyoke
Open to all teens ages 13 - 19!
Now registering for a November, 2023 - May, 2024 session culminating in a performance inspired by your stories and ideas! Rehearsal will be on Wednesdays or Thursdays depending on how registration goes.
Open to all Connecticut River Valley teens ages 13 - 19!
If you can make it to Greenfield for in-person rehearsals, this group will prepare a public performance for touring in spring, 2024!
Please use the form below to request registration materials or more info. You can also call (413) 625-6569 or email info"at"ptco.org
How Does it Work?
Rehearsals are once a week for six months. During the first couple months, participants will develop confidence sharing their stories and learn performance skills like improvisation, becoming a character and storytelling. In December and January, these stories will be shaped into a theatrical text by the participants in collaboration with a professional playwright. Then, as the production approaches in the spring, the final text will be decided on, the play will be cast, and a touring production created. By sharing stories from their lives, participants have the opportunity to help their peers who will see the show and understand their struggles in a different way.
A typical rehearsal
A typical session includes:
- A check-in where each participant shares experiences from the past week
- Physical and vocal acting warm-ups
- Theatre games and trust exercises
- Improvisation of serious issues/discussion topics introduced by the participants
- Development of script with professional playwright
- Rehearsal of script created by students
VPM is inspired by Barrington Stage Company’s Playwright Mentoring Project which has been making a difference in the lives of young people since 2001. Other inspirations include Boston's Urban Improv and other long-standing programs around the world that leverage the power of theatre to help young people take more control of their own lives.
While developing the performance, participants in VPM heighten their:
- conflict resolution skills
- impulse control
- cooperation skills
Photo Credits: Creative Arts at Park
VPM is grateful for the support of:
- The Community Foundation of Western MA
- Massachusetts Cultural Council
- Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice
- Horace A. Moses Foundation
- Mass Humanities
- Art Angels of Western MA.