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410-641-0039

'Young Playwrights Class' set to perform original scripts

OCEAN
PINES—The “Young Playwrights Class," sponsored by the Ocean Pines
Recreation and Parks Department, will present a reader’s theatre performance of
their original scripts on Aug. 25 at 3 p.m., according to instructor Sandy Lanier.

The
performance, presented by young playwrights Marissa Wheaton, Danasia
Wright, Kinsie Ruckle and Jackson Darlington
and youth actor Emmanuel
Aroh, will also be featured in the presentation, Lanier said. The students are fifth and seventh graders
who were participants of her screenwriting course “Scripting of Film &
Television,” which was held at the Community Center in June. 
Recreation Supervisor Eric Armstrong said Lanier preceded him joining the Ocean
Pines staff and had been conducting the theatre training courses for many
years. He added that she has many repeat customers.

She spends
most of the year helping her students build their characters and improving
their improvisational skills, he said. The August performance is the program’s
one big event, at the end of the training, according to Armstrong.

The
writers/actors were rehearsing and refining their work in August, according to
Lanier. This summer’s program will
mark her fourth with the department, she said.

The
performances are free and will be in the Assateague Room. Lanier said donations
are welcome and any received would be used to help continue the program and
others like it.

Several of
the students are theater veterans and have aspirations of careers in acting.
They will read from four scripts during the hour-long performance, designed to
showcase what they have written.

The
vignettes that have been written from the imaginations of the young writers
include:

“Shakespeare’s Angel,” by
seventh-grader Marissa Wheaton. It is a mystery takeoff on “Hamlet,” with
characters named after several of the bard’s well-known heroes and villains.

“From Two Different Worlds,” by
seventh-grader Danasia Wright. It will provide a lesson on tolerance in an
environment of mean girl bulling.

“The Gingerbread Man,” by fifth-grader Kinsie
Ruckle. Like it sounds, Ruckle’s play is about a spicy cookie, which moves to a
new town only discover he is the coveted dessert.

“Vegas Baby,” by fifth-grader Jackson
Darlington, has written a play that takes place in a Las Vegas casino. The
interesting slant is that Darlington has never been in either a casino, or Las
Vegas.

Lanier
has worked as a professional actor and director in London, New York, San
Francisco and Washington, D.C., and has been working primarily with
children and teenagers since arriving on the Eastern Shore. 

“I
have directed adults and children in shows for several years in various
locations. I have also had after school theatre programs and some performances
at Stephen Decatur Middle School and at my current school, Buckingham
Elementary,” she said.

Lanier said starting
on Sept. 7, she will be
offering “Kid Capers” classes on Saturdays for 12 weeks. The sessions will
include instruction for improvisation for children ages 8-11 and scene study for
children ages 12 and older.

Additional
information about the courses is listed in the Ocean Pines Fall Guide, on the
Recreation and Parks Department Web site or available by calling 410-641-1333.