In Our Town’s waning moments, Emily takes the stage to say goodbye to the life around her. At the conclusion of brownsville song (b-side for tray), Tray tells the world what kind of man he wants to be. Two young people surrounded and engulfed by beauty claim their places in the world in very different, but equally moving ways.
Long Wharf Theatre wants to give students a place to express those feelings, to give voice to their lives.
The Moments & Minutes Festival, a new program from the theatre’s education department, will be an evening of celebration where spoken word, monologues, and visual art are showcased by students. Each piece will feature students’ perspectives of life in their community today. The festival takes place on April 17 at 7 pm on Stage II.
The idea for the festival was inspired by the poetic language in Our Town and brownsville song (b-side for Tray). The education department felt there was a real opportunity, recognizing that an average New Haven kid’s life falls somewhere between the worlds of bucolic Grover’s Corners and urban Brownsville,. “We want to showcase what our students are doing in the classroom here at Long Wharf,” said Kristianna Smith, Interim Principal Teaching Artist.
It’s a novel challenge for young performers. They are asked to write an original two minute monologue on their lives – their neighborhoods, their aspirations, and their challenges. Visual artists will have the opportunity to explore those themes through paint, chalk, pencil, photography, pottery or collage. Students will have the opportunity to submit their work. The festival will feature the top 15 performers, while the top 10 pieces of art work will be displayed in the Stage II lobby on the night of the event.
Smith said students that have already seen Our Town have been working on the project. Students at Davis Street School in New Haven are working on pieces describing what is most important to them. The age range of students expected to participate is sixth through twelfth grades, allowing for a full and interesting range of life experiences. “We want kids to be able to express the full range of their emotional lives,” Smith said.
The festival is open to any student from the greater New Haven area. The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2015. Information on how to submit can be found here: http://longwharf.org/moments-minutes-festival