Six Student Plays Onstage

Six short plays written and performed by East End middle school students will be presented at Stony Brook Southampton’s Avram Theater on Saturday at 7 p.m. It is the culminating event of the 2018 Young Artists and Writers Project, or YAWP, for middle schoolers.

More than 100 students from Bridgehampton, Pierson, the Ross School, and Shelter Island participated in the playwriting residency this spring. Over the course of two months, they explored the basic elements of dramatic writing: how to develop ideas, characters, themes, dialogue, and scenes. One play from each participating class was then selected for production in the festival, admission to which is free.

The festival represents a collaboration among student playwrights, actors, and designers who have been taught and mentored by theater and writing professionals affiliated with Stony Brook Southampton’s M.F.A. program in creative writing and literature, which created and sponsors the YAWP programs. Professional directors stage the plays, which encompass an array of genres — from comedies to dramas — with subject matter drawn from the students’ own lives.

YAWP is led by Emma Walton Hamilton, the program’s executive director, and Will Chandler, its program director.

“Dramatic writing and production skills give young people unparalleled lessons in communication and collaboration,” Ms. Hamilton said. “They build confidence and have a direct impact on young people’s abilities to become engaged and compassionate citizens in later life. This project represents a wonderful synergy between all the creative disciplines and values about which we are passionate.”