Valley Playwright Mentoring

A theatre program for teens with stories to tell & things to say!

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.

Holyoke Troupe Starts March 27th

Holyoke VPM has started at Holyoke Media, 1 Court Plaza, Holyoke! Rehearsals are once a week and run through June. The Holyoke Troupe is now full but you can still register and we will put you on a wait list in case space opens up this spring or when we start a new season in Fall, 2024.

Learn more about the program

"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

VPM Podcast Library

Season 3

Season 2

Season 1 (Note some scenes may be more suitable for ages 13+)

Holyoke Troupe Starts March 27th

Holyoke rehearsals begin Wed., March 6th from 6 - 8 pm at Holyoke Media, 1 Court Plaza, Holyoke. Rehearsals are once a week and run through June. The Holyoke Troupe is full but you can still join the waitlist and we will contact you if space opens up or when we start again in Fall, 2024.

VPM is offered in Greenfield and Holyoke

at Holyoke Media, 6 - 8 pm on Wednesdays

Open to all teens ages 13 - 19!

Now registering for a March - June session culminating in a performance inspired by your stories and ideas! Rehearsal will be on Wednesdays from 6 - 8 pm at Holyoke Media.

 

Greenfield on Tuesdays, 6 - 8 pm

Open to all 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!

 

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Have questions?

To request more info, please call (413) 625-6569 or use our contact form here

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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
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Inspiration

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.

Outcomes

While developing the performance, participants in VPM heighten their:

  • conflict resolution skills
  • empathy
  • self-awareness
  • impulse control
  • cooperation skills

Photo Credits: Creative Arts at Park

Support for VPM

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.