Characters created in the minds of Chautauqua County students four months ago came to life in Smith Wilkes Hall in the weeks leading up to the 2023 Summer Assembly Season, arriving on the grounds in the form of live performances staged by a team of actors.
In February, third- and fourth-grade participants in the Young Playwrights Project put pen to paper, creating their own scripts after learning about the elements of a play and the art of playwriting in their schools from a team of professional teaching artists from New York City led by Alexandra Nader.
Later in the spring, the playwrights had a chance to see their work come to life as a group of volunteers visited them in their schools to perform dramatic readings of the plays.
Finally, 11 plays were selected from 241 total submissions by playwrights across the county to be performed live at Chautauqua by actors under the leadership of Joshua Schnetzer, director of plays. The performances were part of a full-day experience on the grounds for students participating in the Explore Chautauqua Field Trips.
The Young Playwrights Project is supported by the Court Family Endowment and gifts to the Chautauqua Fund.