New Play: Kill the Messenger

Cast of Kill the Messenger

Announcing…
Waterwell’s 12th Annual New Works Lab!

Each year, Waterwell’s New Works Lab program commissions a professional playwright to write a complex, thematically rich new play for the senior class of Waterwell Drama Students as their culminating experience at PPAS.

Proud to Introduce…Playwright Liz Morgan & New Play Kill The Messenger!

Playwright Liz Morgan

Q: Where did you find the inspiration behind Kill The Messenger
A: Thinking about Covid, people’s response to crisis and the rules that we make, and then the history of our responses to crisis: how we decide what safety means, what are the rules around who even gets a say about policy, and the exhaustion of trying to figure it all out in a way that mitigates harm. All of the sudden, Noah’s Ark just started bubbling in my head. This was one idea that I wanted to bring to the students and see if they have similar interest in identity and policy and politics and how all of those things start to swirl together when people tell you ‘hey the world is in crisis’ or ‘hey the world is ending.’ How do different communities come together to devise and execute a plan that works for everybody?

Q: You had the opportunity to lead a series of devising workshops in the fall with the students. How did the devising workshops with the class of 2023 inform your writing?
A: So much of [the play] is inspired by what they did in the devising workshops. [There’s a certain scene] that was completely born out of the student’s invention. They showed me what kind of plots were exciting to them. Some individuals showed us what kinds of characters they excel at playing. One student in particular, after the workshops, I knew I had to write a villain for them to play because they were so talented at creating high status characters with a streak of evil. I found them very funny in the devising workshops which empowered me to write some biting satire- our first week was about discovering if we’re prepared to use comedy to talk about difficult topics. I’m still learning where my style and the aesthetics of the class intersect.

Q: Inspiration behind the piece (cont.)
A: I’ve always felt like the animal kingdom has been a great reminder for me that there are so many other ways to build family, to build community, to decide who’s the hunter and who’s the gatherer, and so that obsession for me definitely played out when I wrote. [The play is] putting on stage some of those connections so people can start to think a little bit more about what we’re doing in the human world by looking at the animals.

Kill The Messenger Synopsis: An apocalyptic flood of biblical proportions is on its way, and there is only one person who can save mankind: Noah Banks, a famous megachurch preacher with access to a swanky superyacht. As his community of family and friends struggle and scheme — each to secure a place on this modern-day ark — news spreads throughout the animal kingdom that their salvation is in the hands of Noah and his God as well. What ensues is a fight between the power of faith and the power of the masses to decide the fate of planet earth and its inhabitants of every kind. 

LIZ MORGAN is a multi-hyphenate theatre artist. Her plays have been developed with The Fire This Time Festival, The Lark, Fresh Ground Pepper, Liberation Theatre Company, Judson Arts, Rising Circle, Rites & Reason Theatre, and National Black Theatre where she was named a finalist for the I AM SOUL Playwrights’ Residency.

Liz’s plays include her solo show, Deep $h*t, as well as Deliver: Letters to the Motherland from a Foreign Body (2019 Kilroys List Honorable Mention), Breaking & EnteringA Matter of TasteOur Father and The Clark Doll which was nominated for a 2018 Drammy Award in the category of Best Original Script after its west coast premiere. www.LizMorganOnline.com

Drama 2 Plays

Below are the ticket links to purchase tickets to our Drama 2 shows! 

King John will be opening this Thursday, Feb. 2nd @7pm.

King John 
Directed by James Palmer
Stage Management by Angelie Rodriguez
Assistant Directed by Dianna Zorek
Stage Management Mentorship by Kaelin Fuld

Show Dates:
Thurs, Feb. 2nd @ 7pm
Fri, Feb. 3rd @ 2pm & 7pm
Sat, Feb. 4th @ 7pm

Purchase tickets for King John

Henry IV 
Directed by Amara Aja
Stage Management by Rebecca Berger
Assistant Director/Stage Managed by Fiona Grand
Sound Design by Johnny Hamilton-Janak

Thurs, Feb. 9th @ 7pm
Fri, Feb. 10th @ 2pm & 7pm
Sat, Feb. 11th @ 7pm

Purchase tickets for Henry IV

Playwriting Fellowship Opportunity

LUCILLE LORTEL’S NYC PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL PLAYWRITING FELLOWSHIP

An exciting NYC ten-minute play festival partnership focused on sparking and showcasing youth creative voices. The contest culminates with an evening of staged readings with professional actors of these original student one-act plays.

Fellows will have:

  • access to NYC professional playwright mentors
  • their plays published in a Lortel Play anthology
  • access to tickets to a Broadway show, and a certificate of recognition. 

DEADLINE: January 2023

Get more info and register

Drama 3 Play: Roe

Roe, by Lisa Loomer
Directed by Heather Lanza 
Stage Managed by Anna Wheeler

Performances Dates/Times:
Weds Nov 16 @ 7 PM
Thurs Nov 17 @ 7 PM
Fri Nov 18 @ 2 PM and  7 PM
Sat Nov 19 @ 7 PM

Location: PPAS Mainstage in the Auditorium

All ticket sales and donations support the PPAS PTA.

Synopsis: Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion, is still fiercely debated over forty years later. In this incisive play, acclaimed writer Lisa Loomer cuts through the headlines and rhetoric to reveal the divergent personal journeys of lawyer Sarah Weddington and plaintiff Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”) in the years following the fateful decision. In turns shocking, humorous, and poignant, ROE reflects the polarization in America today while illuminating the heart and passion each side has for its cause.

Stagedoor Manor Scholarships

Stagedoor Manor is the preeminent theater camp in the United States. Located in the beautiful Catskill Mountains, in Sullivan County, NY, Stagedoor has available several FULL SCHOLARSHIPS to attend their program next summer (2023).

What: Full scholarship to attend Stagedoor Manor.

Where: Loch Sheldrake, NY (2 1/2 hrs north of NYC).

When: Session #3, July 24th, to August 13th, 2023.

Who: High school musical theater students, grades 9 – 11.

Deadline: December 15th, 2022.

Notification of Acceptance: February 10th, 2023.

Learn About Iran Protests

From our partner, Waterwell:

Last month, the morality police forcibly arrested Kurdish woman, Mahsa (Jina) Amini, for supposedly wearing her hijab “incorrectly.” Days later, after suffering through a 3-day coma, Jina died under the custody of the police. The details about her cause of death are still being investigated but this news sparked outrage amongst the Iranian people.

Heartbreakingly, a teenage protester, 16-year-old Nika Shakarami has also been killed while protesting for Jina and the right’s of other Iranian women. Many young people and protestors have sadly been severely injured or killed, as the Iranian government attempts to stop the protesting. 

Here is a news article by Bassé Digé, an Iranian woman, which further contextualizes the events with a cultural and personal lens.

Below is a list of people you can follow to STAY INFORMED. And, continue to SHARE the content and use hashtags #MahsaAmini and #NikiShakarami.

It is especially important to do so because authorities in Iran have shut down most access to the internet and social media.

@arianmoayed 

@masih.alinejad 

@nazaninboniadi 

@lsarsour 

@golfarahani 

@justinaofficial

@shadiismyname 

@iamnazaninnou

#WOMAN!LIFE!FREEDOM!

Drama Productions

Our first rehearsal projects of the year for both MS & HS have already begun their auditions and callbacks!

The first HS rehearsal project will be Roe by Lisa Loomer. It will be Directed by Heather Lanza and Staged Managed by WDP’s very own senior, Anna Wheeler!

The MS Musical will be Royal Blood with book by Kevin Townley and Music & Lyrics by Josh Franklin. This is a brand new musical, and the students will have the opportunity to work alongside the writers as they continue to tweak and improve the piece.

Royal Blood will be directed by Kyle Pleasant, Music Directed by Marissa Davis, and Stage Managed by Kaelin Fuld.

Drama 1 Showcase

Drama 1’s Jury showcase is coming up on June 9 and 10! They will be performing their Juries in front of their peers and the PPAS community (parents/staff). This is their “rehearsal project” for the year, since as freshmen they do not get a fully produced show, like they do in 10th-12th grade. 

Parents/families and teachers/staff are welcome to attend the showcase but reservations are required. 

Thurs. June 9th @7pm in The Blackbox

Fri. June 10th. @ 7pm in the Blackbox.

Please RSVP now!

*You do not need to attend both nights, it will be the same performances happening on each night.

Waterwell Wins High School Festival

From Heather Lanza:

I am proud to share that the Waterwell Drama Program has won the prestigious Shubert Foundation High School Theater Festival for the second year in a row!

The Festival is a city-wide competition in which five productions are selected from among all the year’s High School shows from all five boroughs. I am thrilled that our community of young artists is being recognized in this way and am inspired by their commitment to making theater with excellence and empathy in challenging conditions.

Last year, Waterwell students’ virtual rendition of Romeo and Juliet, directed by our own Cherie Corinne Rice, was selected as a festival winner. This year, our production of Paula Vogel’s Indecent, which I directed and which was featured on stage at the Winter Garden Broadway theater on May 23, made us back-to-back winners.

The thriving creativity, artistry, and success of Waterwell students demonstrates the relevance and power of arts education rooted in empathy and engagement with civic issues that touch students’ lives.

New York Teen Shakespeare Intensive

The New York Teen Shakespeare Intensive is a two-week summer training program for young actors ages 15 to 19. Students delve deeply into Shakespeare’s works, characters, and language through a progressive program of physical movement training and character development techniques to prepare them with the fundamentals required for university and the professional acting arena.

For the third year in a row, the intensive is being presented in an online format. The program will run from July 11-July 22, culminating in an invited showcase on the final day. The classes will be held between 10am and 3pm EST on Zoom.

The program is able to offer three students from PPAS partial-tuition scholarships of $170.00 The recipients must be ambitious students in good academic standing that you and your colleagues recommend. The tuition has been adjusted for the online format from $2,350 to $850 USD. There are just a few spots left, and we want to make sure your students don’t miss out on this opportunity. 

Additional information about the program can be found on their website: newyorkteenshakespeareintensive.com

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact them at (914) 893-6617 or email info@newyorkteenshakespeareintensive.com