Beck Center’s upcoming Youth Theater production presents a unique opportunity to bring out more than these students’ acting skills; this process also allows for real life writing for stage experience. For the first time in Beck Center Youth Theater history—the play is being written by the students who will perform in it. Many of these students have performed in past Beck Center Youth Theater productions written by instructors and directors Rachel Green and Russ Stich so they have been close to the process of crafting a new production.
The pandemic created an opportunity for students to take a turn in the writer’s chair to write “together” via Zoom, and craft the sketches they will be performing. The production will be filmed in-person, with all participants masked, and socially-distanced. Students of Beck Center, not limited to youth theater classes, were invited to audition for this piece.
Patrick Ciamacco directs and guides the writing process. Patrick has a history with Beck Center for the Arts, as a director and performer, including performing as a last minute replacement for a lead role in a past holiday production.
In addition to directing, designing and performing all over the Cleveland area, Patrick is also the Artistic Director and a co-founder of Blank Canvas Theatre. Patrick says, of this experience of directing a teen show, while working with the 24 students, “This has been one of the roughest years… but theatre, and everyone involved in this show, help make each day a bit better. With the nature of our lives these days, artists are starved to create and collaborate. So we thought it would be fulfilling for the students to not only act in a piece… but also to create that piece from scratch. Putting all of their creative minds to work to create a truly original show.” A student from this production even designed the show art. It is truly a collaborative effort.
This limited virtual engagement runs March 25 to 28, on any device in the comfort of your home, as part of Beck Center for the Arts’ 73rd Youth Theater Season. The show will stream on-demand starting Thursday, March 24 and run through 8:00 pm EST on Sunday, March 28.
For more information please visit beckcenter.org.