Local News: Alley Theatre Stages New Works by Teen Playwrights for this Summer's Houston Young Playwrights Exchange

Posted by: Staffon 2011/6/26 6:30:00 1634 reads HYPE at the Alley Theatre

August 12 & 13, 2011

For the 15th consecutive year, the Alley Theatre is providing young playwrights the chance to improve and expand their writing skills with its summer program, Houston Young Playwrights Exchange (HYPE). Six plays by local teens have been selected to undergo development in a professional forum guided by the Alley's staff, with the program culminating in a two-day public showcase of their work as staged readings - Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13 on the Neuhaus Stage. Some plays contain mature language and mature situations...

One of the Alley Theatre's Education and Community Engagement Department's premier programs, HYPE has helped dozens of young playwrights develop their work since the program was started in 1996. The six HYPE participants also have the opportunity to learn from an experienced playwright Alvaro Saar Rios, HYPE playwright in residence. A native Houstonian, Mr. Rios attended
HCC Central Campus and the University of Houston and has worked with various Houston theaters, including the Alley Theatre, Express Children's Theatre, and The Ensemble Theatre. Mr. Rios and his wife, Michelle, are the co-founders of The Royal Mexican Players, a national touring performance troupe. Mr. Rios is the author of various plays, such as The Crazy Mexican
Show and One Hot Texican Summer. His work has been performed in New York City, Milwaukee, Chicago, and all over Texas. Recently, Mr. Rios obtained an MFA in Writing for Stage & Screen from Northwestern University where he wrote Moody, a full-length play inspired by the Moody Park Riots.

Plays featured in the Alley's Houston Young Playwrights Exchange 2011

by James Hamrick, 18 (Memorial)

A female ghost and a mere mortal conspire to stay together forever.

James Hamrick recently graduated from the Kinkaid School and will be attending Nebraska Wesleyan University. He has performed at theatres around Houston inducing TUTS, HITS and Masquerade Theatre and plans to pursue a musical theatre degree in college. He hopes the HYPE experience will help him "solidify my writing style and create a distinct voice for myself."

Boom, Straight to the Moon
by Ellen Kosatka, 17 (Braeswood)

A young woman time travels to the past in order to save her father.

Ellen Kosatka will be a senior at Carnegie Vanguard High School. She was inspired to write her play when she "saw a movie about the butterfly effect, and I thought it was just so intriguing that the smallest action could have the most intricate and outlandish outcomes." She is interested in majoring in Film in college and regularly volunteers at the Houston Humane Society.

Don't Go To Hell, Dad
by Celestina Billington, 17 (Idylwood)

A young boy hammers nails into the ground above his father's liquor stash with the hope that the Devil will injure himself when he surfaces to take his father.

Celestina Billington will be a junior next year at Lamar High School. She hopes that audiences who see her play "leave with a renewed or heightened appreciation for their familial relationships and spirituality." Last summer she was a member of Stage's Young Actor's Conservatory and is a member of Troupe 153, Loading Dock Production Company at Lamar High School.

In Media Res
by Camron Alexander, 15 (Katy)

A grieving wife carries her husband's gun around for safety but finds out the hard way that everyone is in much graver danger due to its presence. Camron Alexander will be a junior next year at James E. Taylor High School. He wanted to be a part of HYPE because he felt "it was an amazing opportunity to not only learn and develop my own abilities but also to work with others who can teach me more about the world of theatre and writing on a professional level," and he hopes his play "demonstrates the importance of what others say and how one person's actions may have a lasting affect in the lives of those around them."

Great People
by Lauren Bellmore, 18 (Klein)

A young couple discovers that they can no longer be together - and that
breaking up doesn't have to be so terrible.

Lauren Bellmore recently graduated from Klein High School and will be attending University of North Texas, majoring in Drama. While at Klein High School, she was involved in the Drama department, the Speech and Debate department, and was a member of the Academic Decathlon team. One of her favorite playwrights is Rajiv Joseph. "When I saw Gruesome Playground
Injuries , I was absolutely amazed and astonished at the quality and realism of the writing. His characters' complexities grab you, and he fleshes them out with such ease."

A Vivid Mirage
by Deion Williams, 16 (Houston)

Two teenage boys, lost in the desert, experiment with the power of creative
visualization in order to help others find them.

Deion Williams will be a senior next year at John H. Reagan High School. Deion would like audiences to take away from the play that "Hope comes in handy. Faith is your weapon. Friends keep you going." Williams would like to learn from HYPE "how theatre works and where I fit into it."

Friday, August 12 at 7:30 PM and Saturday, August 13 at 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Alley Theatre box office, 615
Texas Avenue or online at www.alleytheatre.org

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