Young Playwrights

Article excerpt

Byline: Eileen O. Daday Daily Herald correspondent

In this day and age of texting and tweeting, several Arlington Heights second-graders experienced something of a throwback: they learned to write -- more specifically, write for the stage.

"I've never written a play before," said Megan Snow, a second-grader at Ivy Hill Elementary School in Arlington Height, "but it was cool to see our ideas acted out."

Last week, she and her classmates saw the biographies of their teachers they had developed come to life on the stage at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

After working with teaching artists from the Metropolis over the last four weeks, students from Dryden, Greenbrier and Ivy Hill elementary schools attended short skits performed by professional actors, and all drawn from their interviews and story arcs.

One of Megan's classmates, Cherry Gadamandla of Arlington Heights, added that seeing their work turned into plays gave her an idea.

"You usually see plays that come from an adult's idea," Cherry said. "This time it was plays coming from kids' ideas."

Their interviewing and writing skills were at the core of the "Write to the Spotlight" program, designed by the Arlington Heights Arts Commission and co-sponsored by Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 and the Metropolis.

"It's important for kids," says Bill Kruser, a member of the Arlington Heights Arts Commission. …