Famous names like Rita Moreno and Mikhail Baryshnikov may be on the marquee, but every spring local teens steal the spotlight at the Tony Award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre. During the 10th annual Teen One-Acts Festival, enthusiastic high-school students can try their hands at acting, directing, playwriting, producing, and more.
The Teen One-Acts Festival encourages young writers to develop ideas about issues that inspire them. Every year, a panel of students selects two original plays penned by Bay Area teens to be performed, directed, and produced by their peers. Then the staff at Berkeley Rep mentors these teens at each step of the process to help them perfect their craft. There are many ways to participate:
Write on! Young playwrights are encouraged to submit their scripts to the festival. Each play should contain at least three characters and be no longer than 35 minutes in length. Submissions can be sent to email@example.com and must include the playwright's name, age, mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, grade, and school. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 11, 2011.
Visit the script doctor. Aspiring authors can take a series of free playwriting workshops from 4:30 to 6:00 PM on the following Tuesdays: October 11, October 25, and November 1, 2011. Attend one class or attend them all! Madeleine Oldham, Berkeley Rep's resident dramaturg, will help teens learn how to beat writer's block and create cohesive stories. To participate, just call (510) 647-2973 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org before Monday, October 10, 2011.
Act out! Aspiring actors are invited to audition for the festival at 1:00 PM on Saturday, January 21, 2012. Please come prepared with a monologue no longer than two minutes. Auditions are held in the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre at 2071 Addison Street in downtown Berkeley, right next door to the company's Thrust Stage. Call (510) 647-2973 or e-mail email@example.com to set up an audition time.
But I really want to direct... Directors for this year's festival will be selected from participants in a special three-part workshop led by Mina Morita, Berkeley Rep's new artistic associate. Ten teens will be invited to learn about the casting process, how to create directing concepts, how to work with actors in the rehearsal room, and how to collaborate with designers to create the world of the play. These workshops will take place on Friday, November 18; Saturday, November 19; and Monday, December 12, 2011. To apply, call (510) 647-2973 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, November 7, 2011.
Be the producer. Work behind the scenes with Berkeley Rep's staff to plan the Teen One-Acts Festival. This important position promises excellent practical experience to someone ready for the responsibility. Oversee workshops, organize weekly production meetings, track the shows' progress, create and maintain a budget, and manage marketing efforts for the festival. Teens who are interested should call (510) 647-2973 or e-mail email@example.com to schedule an interview.
Work behind the scenes. Are you a designer, a techie, or interested in technical things? Teens work with professional mentors to get the festival on its feet by building costumes, sets, lights, and sound. Learn about these creative disciplines and begin to collaborate with aspiring directors at an all-day workshop on Saturday, November 19, 2011. Space is limited, so apply soon. Call (510) 647-2973 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, November 7, 2011.
Or just enjoy the results: Everyone is invited to see the final show - written, performed, and produced entirely by teens! Performances of the winning scripts take place next spring at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre with 8:00 PM shows on March 30, March 31, April 6, and April 7, 2012 and a special 2:00 PM matinee on March 31, 2012. (This is the only part of the process with a price tag; reasonable costs for tickets will be set by the teens themselves in consultation with their mentors.)
The Berkeley Rep Teen Council is a theatre youth group organized by teens for teens. Its goal is to foster the theatre audiences and theatre professionals of tomorrow by opening channels of communication between teens, theatre professionals, and the community at large while building a base for lifelong learning. Through a variety of interactive programs, the Teen Council provides an opportunity for youth to participate in all aspects of the dramatic process: on stage, backstage, and in front of the stage through its affiliation with the Tony Award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Currently, the Council has more than 200 members including youth from numerous local high schools. For more information, call (510) 647-2973, visit berkeleyrep.org/teenoneacts, or e-mail email@example.com.