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The Lyric Stage Company of Boston announces Lyric First Page

The Lyric Stage Company of Boston announces new youth playwriting festival in partnership with Boston Public Schools. 

The Lyric Stage Company of Boston is happy to announce its newest initiative in collaboration with Boston Public Schools (BPS) titled Lyric First Page. Lyric First Page is a playwriting festival intended for students grades 3-12 in the Greater Boston area. The Village Bank is providing additional support to bring Lyric First Page to the schools of Wayland and Newton. 

“Without question, this will be a challenging winter for the City’s youth and their families,” said the Lyric Stage Executive Director Matt Chapuran. “Lyric First Page provides a creative outlet to students and will give us an insight into how they are being affected by the pandemic and its attendant isolation.” 

Beginning in January 2021, students will be able to submit short plays (between four and twelve pages) to either the Lyric Stage or BPS. Once those plays are received, they will be evaluated by a volunteer panel on character, dialogue, plot, content, and impact. All playwrights will receive specific feedback on how to improve their submissions, and may be included in a future reading series.

The plays that receive the evaluations will be scheduled for Zoom readings hosted by the Lyric Stage in late February and early March, with plays from each level (elementary, middle, and high school) represented. BPS and the Lyric Stage will collaborate in assigning volunteer directors and actors for these readings, with BPS students having an additional opportunity to serve as actors. Some plays will be read by students and professional actors working together.

“The Boston Public Schools Arts Department is so excited to be working with The Lyric Stage Company,” said Paul Sedgwick, Theatre Content Specialist for BPS. “Lyric First Page is a unique opportunity for BPS students to see and hear their creativity and their voices literally come to life before their very eyes. We can’t wait!” 

During the month of January, the Lyric Stage Company Artistic Director Courtney O’Connor will host a live playwriting workshop over Zoom. O’Connor will also record playwriting prompts and workshops that will be available on both the Lyric Stage website and the Lyric Stage YouTube channel.

Says O’Connor, “When I was the Artistic Director of Coyote Theatre, we had a youth playwriting program that was an absolute joy. The quality and content of those plays were always such a surprise. I have seen first-hand just how powerful it is to give students a creative venue to share their thoughts, opinions, and dreams. I am thrilled the Lyric Stage and BPS are teaming up together to provide this opportunity for our youth.”

While these workshops are intended to assist students in their playwriting, teachers can also use these workshops as a way to incorporate Lyric First Page into their in-person or online classes.