Add Verb Productions, a program of the University of New England, has been invited by the Maine Youth Development Institute to present a workshop at “R3: Opening Doors to Student Success; 2011 Positive Youth Development Institute” in Orono, on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. “R3” stands for “Relationships, Relationships, Relationships,” and this invitation was made in recognition of the relationships Add Verb has formed with youth across the country.
The workshop, titled “Theatre and Student Activism: A look at Add Verb’s Out & Allied Project” will draw from Add Verb’s recent publication Out & Allied Anthology which includes 34 youth-written monologues, short plays and poems, as well as a handbook for theatre for social change. Add Verb founder and playwright Cathy Plourde, and two of Add Verb’s summer interns Emily Hill, a recent Greeley graduate, and Piaoyang Wang, a business major at UNE, will perform selections from the book and guide participants as they generate short performance pieces that can be used for raising awareness and inspiring dialogue. These newly developed works will also be performed during this session by participants, and will be the focal point for conducting a conversation. Performance material generated through this collaboration will be eligible for inclusion in the second edition of the Out & Allied Anthology.
Plourde has years of experience generating youth writing, using prompts and questions that cultivate material. These techniques, which are featured in the Out & Allied Anthology and handbook, focus on the LGBTQ experience but are adaptable for nearly any type of topic, action or issue. Other presenters at the conference include keynote Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap, Karen Williams, an expert on adolescent brain development, and Nate Eklands, author of How Was Your Day at School?