Kids and teenagers have a lot of interesting ideas. It takes special adults to encourage us to express these ideas outside the classroom. Tulsa is extremely fortunate in having opportunities to see the produced work of teen playwrights. From the Tulsa City-County Library Plays to Miss George Romero and the Emergence Project, to Julie Tattershall, Frank Gallagher, and Erin Scarberry of Clark Theatre, students like me have had opportunities to hone our skills with short plays.
One person in particular (besides my family and Ms. Griffin in middle school) has been remarkably supportive. Amber Harrington, theatre teacher at Edison High School, is committed to producing original work by students. From classroom monologues, to Creeps, to TNL, the training I receive as a playwright is incomparable.
I've written dozens of plays, poems, and short stories (which have earned some awards), but I have not produced my own play since the front yard magic shows my sister and I did in elementary school. I had some readings using people from my class, and they and Ms. Harrington were incredibly supportive. But producing a play in a professional venue is an expensive, time-consuming endeavor.
I knew after a couple of readings that I had a good story and some really talented actors. I know several supportive adults and so I began asking questions: "Where can I put this play on?" and "How much does it cost?" and "How do I get butts in seats?" I found The Nightingale Theater. My mom tells me I played a young prince in Corolianus there when I was 5 but I do not remember. They were kind enough to work out an affordable rental, I did some final editing, collected my cast, and started rehearsals.
Through the course of rehearsals, I've grown very close to my actors and the story. Ms. Harrington (who is an AMAZING woman) has been supporting me throughout the process, so I decided that all of the funds (after facility rental) should go towards my school's theatre program, the Edison Eagle Theatre Company.
So far, I have a story, I have a cast, and I have a venue. All I need is the money for the theatre space. It will cost $400 for two performances. My teacher gave me $50 so all I need is $350 from people who care enough about youth theatre and original work to pledge for it. The way Kickstarter works is I must raise all the money or I raise none. It's an all-or-nothing deal.
Thank you all very much for your support over the years and especially now. Get us to our mark and we will thank you for it in a special way!
- (20 days)