New Playwright’s Project
The basic program involves students working with theatre professionals to create one act plays that deal with socially relevant issues that students will encounter during their junior and senior high school careers. The projects aims are to deter delinquent behavior by using the theatre arts to refocus young people’s energies and foster more opportunities for self improvement that will allow them to express themselves in a ” teens teaching teens ” initiative. All of the following plays were created under this program . Although not in booklet form , each play is available upon request . A ten dollar fee is required for each script plus a royalty fee of 25.00 per performance should you choose to perform them.
South Scranton Intermediate School, 2000
An 8th grade student inspired one act play about the consequences created by false rumors about fellow classmates.
“The Obstacles of Youth”
West Scranton High School, 2000-2002
3 one act plays about underage drinking, teen pregnancy, and date violence presented in collaboration with the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s office. The 3 plays were toured to other high schools in surrounding Scranton region.
Wilkes-Barre Area Vocational Technical School, 2001
A one act play that covers social issues that students face during their high school careers. Inspired by true stories coming from the students themselves. Sponsored in part by school districts that make up the area vocational school.
“The Cafeteria Incident”
Wilkes-Barre Area Vocational Technical School, 2004
A student pulls out a chair from underneath another student who was about to sit down in it during lunchtime. What happens next created two assaults, students threatening other students, and a trip to juvenile court with a real life judge presiding over it.
“The Case of Tommy Smith vs. Jimmy Hall”
2006, 2009, 2010, 2014
Toured to many schools and other performances during the years. Sponsored by the Lackawanna Bar Association, Lackawanna County Arts & Culture, the District Attorney’s Office of Lackawanna County. The popular play about bullying involves a male student beating another student in a bathroom at school over a female student. The play highlighted an assault case that 3 different judges from the Court of Common Pleas presided over during its long run over the years.
Produced initially at Old Forge High School in Lackawanna County, the play enjoyed an extensive tour to regional high schools. The show covered a wide range of topics concerning cyber bullying, drug and alcohol abuse, and their consequences.
“The Bully Plays”
Two one act plays about what students can go through when they are constantly verbally and physically abused in school by other students. Presented as part of Carbondale High School’s anti-bullying program.
New Playwright’s Festival
Carbondale Area High School, 2017-Present
In 2017, SPT in conjunction with the Carbondale Area School District launched a program aimed at giving students at the high school the opportunity to write one act plays about topics that were important to them. For students in the Senior Advanced Writing Composition course, it was mandatory. As a result, 7 new plays were developed and produced by students, who wrote them, acted in them, and worked under the professional guidance of members from SPT. Topics have ranged from a star baseball player who thinks he has impregnated a girl that he doesn’t like, to high school student infidelity, to the sensitive topics of teen suicide, date violence, and a hilarious play about asking someone to the prom and the anxiety that can come with it.
The New Playwright’s Festival is ongoing and plans are now in the works to develop a county-wide festival of new plays written and performed by students from Lackawanna County.
Children’s Theatre Program
From 1982 thru 2007, SPT toured children’s theatre plays, employing professional actors to 20 school districts located in the 7 counties of Northeast PA. The program was widely popular, but funding for the projects became more and more scarce, so the theatre decided to concentrate its efforts developing plays with junior and senior high school students.
The Theatre has also sponsored theatre camps for many years. During the last few years much emphasis has been placed on junior and senior high school programming.