Academic Enrichment Grant

 2017-2018 Project Summary

Tahnee Cadrez

Los Angeles Music and Art School • Los Angeles, CA

LAMusArt’s Playmaking is a new and immersive hands-on program that engages students ages 9 – 11 in the fundamentals of playwriting over the course of 10 weeks, culminating in a full scale performance of the student written plays by adult actors. During the first 9 weeks, students concentrate on the academic approach to dramatic writing, focusing on the rules of “Want, Conflict, Change,” basic vocabulary, structure of a play, and why plays are written. Further lessons will focus on the concepts of character, narrative, dialogue, stage directions, and plot. During the eighth week, students will be tasked with applying the skills they learned during the first 7 weeks to create an original play along with lyrics to an original song in the play. During their writing process they will be paired with an adult dramaturge who will serve as the student’s mentor, helping to guide the student through their creative process.

After writing their plays, two professional actors will be assigned to each play, and will rehearse with a professional director and a composer for the final two weeks of the program. Students will observe the rehearsal and design process, and continue with their lessons for those two weeks. They will then have the opportunity to see a realized version of their original plays and songs performed and directed by professional adults in a full scale production. Students will be asked to watch their own plays come to life at the performance.

The goal of the Playmaking project is to support the growth and development of the student’s literacy and to validate their unique artistic voices. The project aims to help support each student’s cognitive and emotional development and to enrich their creative, social, and behavioral progress. Playmaking gives the youngsters in this underserved community a chance to tell and see their own stories about their respective experiences with emotional honesty through dramatic writing and performance.

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