As the last few weeks of Summer begin to cool off and make way for Autumn, we’re gearing up for the start of the new school year!
Improvisation, Writing and Audition Classes at The Creative Acts Academy
We are bringing back our year-round classes! Parents and students have requested poetry and improvisation classes, as well as an audition workshop that prepares students for college and professional auditions. All classes are taught by working professional writers and theatre artists.
Schedules are still being determined, so we’d love to hear from you about convenient days and times. If you could take the time to respond to this survey, we would appreciate your input:www.wtnj.org/madison-classes/
Playwriting Classes for Adults at the Creative Acts Academy
Dates have been announced for John Pietrowski’s 10-week playwriting classes through the summer of 2017. All classes meet on Monday evenings from 7-10 pm.
- Fall Session: September 26- December 10 (no class November 21), 2016
- Winter Session: January 2-March 13 (no class March 6), 2017
- Spring Session: March 20-May 22, 2017
- Summer Session: June 12-August 21 (no class July 3), 2017
The Playwriting for Adults Class is a hands-on workshop experience where highly experienced writers and beginners learn together in a supportive atmosphere that emphasizes the development of interesting characters and compelling stories. Pietrowski is the winner of the 2012 NJ State Council on the Arts Playwriting Fellowship.
Admission is open to anyone age 18 and above. High school students ages 16-17 interested in participating in the class should contact Mr. Pietrowski via e-mail at JPietrowski@wtnj.org. You can register for the class at www.wtnj.org/madison-classes/ .
Madison Young Playwrights Program Returns
In a few weeks, we will resume our Madison Young Playwrights Program. Professional theatre artists will work with Madison students, teaching them the basics of dramatic writing and helping them write their own plays. All completed work will be entered in our annual New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival. Programs take place in all three elementary schools, the Madison Junior School and St. Vincent Martyr School.
Staged readings of representative plays will be performed by professional actors at each school so that playwrights can share their work with their family and peers. This is the 31st year of the program, and it holds a very special place in our hearts. We’re looking forward to another year of working with these imaginative students!
Participants must be enrolled in the schools listed above. You can register your child online on our Madison Young Playwrights Page: www.wtnj.org/madison-young-playwrights-program/
NJ Writers Project
The New Jersey Writers Project offers poetry, prose and playwriting residencies in schools led by teaching artists who are working professionals in their field. A Language-in-Motion residency provides professional actors to present staged readings of work developed in the residencies. This powerful, engaging program gets students excited about writing and performing and provides a valuable experience for all involved.
In the words of one teacher, “Leeds Avenue School had an EXCITING, ENGAGING, & ENCOURAGING residency. Our new assistant-principal, Mrs. Irwin, observed Lamont [the resident teaching artist] in action. Not only was she impressed but she asked me about professional development with Lamont for all ELA Teachers. The strategies and techniques Lamont uses are very engaging, hands-on, and spark student interest and participation.” - Tamar LaSure-Owens
Don’t pass up an opportunity to give your students the educational and artistic spark they need! For more information, please visit https://www.wtnj.org/nj-writers-project/
NJ Youth Poet Laureate
Writers Theatre is excited to introduce the New Jersey Youth Poet Laureate program this year! New Jersey high school students will be able to submit works of poetry, rap, and spoken word to be judged by professional poets. Three winners, one from each region of the state (North, Central, and South), will receive prizes that include performance opportunities at poetry events throughout the state and will have their poems published in a poetry anthology! The deadline for submissions is October 24th, 2016, so be sure to submit soon!
You can find more information or submit your poems on our website at https://www.wtnj.org/nj-youth-poet-laureate/
NJ Poetry Out Loud
Writers Theatre partners with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts every year to offer Poetry Out Loud to students throughout the state. Poetry Out Loud, the national high school poetry recitation contest, is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. It is the country’s largest poetry recitation competition, where students learn about classic and contemporary poems through memorization and performance. The program helps students sharpen their skills in public speaking and performance, while teaching them to read critically and to deliver the message behind the words. Last year nearly 30,000 students participated in the Poetry Out Loud program and it was exciting to see the 2016 state winner, Celeste Sena, reach the National Poetry Out Loud Semi-Finals in Washington, D.C!
For more information on POL, please visit the New Jersey Poetry Out Loud Website at http://www.jerseyarts.com/pol/ Writers Theatre offers Poetry Out Loud residencies our website at https://www.wtnj.org/poetry-out-loud/. Residencies are not limited to high schools, elementary and junior schools have participated in residencies in the past.
NJ Young Playwrights Festival
The 2016 NJ Young Playwrights Festival was a huge success! The NJ Young Playwrights Festival is the third oldest playwriting festival in the country. Each year, hundreds of young playwrights throughout the state enter for the chance to have their plays performed by professional actors, and amongst other prizes, a free membership to the Dramatists Guild.
This past year, we were very grateful to the Mayo Performing Arts Center for allowing us to utilize their beautiful Starlight Room for the festival! We had so much fun watching the winning plays be performed, and the turnout was excellent. You can see photos from the festival at
The deadline to enter this year’s New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival is January 5, 2017, so we encourage students everywhere to start writing, as we already have a number of submissions in from young playwrights!
For more information, including how to submit your play to the festival, please visit our NJYPF page: www.wtnj.org/nj-young-playwrights-contest/
CAA Summer Camp
Our Creative Acts Academy Summer Camp was a hit this year! Students took part in a wide variety of fun and engaging classes across a span of theatrical subject areas. From acting to playwriting to musical performance to improvisation, there is a class to suit every young artist at CAA.
This summer, improvisation students learned the foundations of dramatic technique and presented what they learned to their parents in the form of improv games and exercises. In playwriting classes, students crafted plays complete with well-developed plots and witty humor in just one to two weeks. We were proud to see our students flourish in all areas of the arts and hope they will continue to pursue their interests in our new year-round classes!
Check out our Facebook for photos from this summer’s CAA classes: https://www.facebook.com/writerstheatreofnj
Summer Youth Theatre
Our 2016 Summer Youth Theatre Shows, two annual theatrical productions presented in partnership with the Madison Department of Recreation, were extremely well-received!
This year’s Junior production, Throne Over, was an original devised musical led by professional actress and musician Jane Keitel, created by and starring young artists ages 8-13. This year’s Senior production was 4 A.M. (book by Jonathan Dorf, music and lyrics by Alison Wood), a new musical dramedy starring young performers ages 14 and up. It was directed by professional director and Stage Manager Danielle Constance with expert musical direction by Brian Lang.