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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 19 May 2011

On May 24, join PlayWrite's WORD.VOICE. spring showcase featuring plays acted and written by at-risk youth. The event takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon St. in Downtown Portland.

Tickets are $10 and available at http://playwritemay18.eventbrite.com/?ref=ecount

PlayWrite provides workshops in which theatre professionals and other artists coach at-risk youth to create and direct their own plays. The results are twofold: The young writers discover their voices and learn that art is a form of truth that can help them figure out how to live. And audiences get to see visceral, powerful theatre that offers the satisfaction of transformative experience.

Twice a year recent plays and songs are chosen for performance at the winter or spring showcase. Professional actors, singers and musicians perform the work under the direction of PlayWrite graduates, giving the young writers a second opportunity to work on their creations.

Victor Mack, pictured, who is starring in the Portland Playhouse's production of "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" says it's very rewarding to be working with kids.

"I've been involved with helping at-risk kids create theatre since I lived in New York and worked with the 52nd Street Project," he said. "As an actor I enjoy getting direction from the kids and seeing their faces when their plays come to life on stage. It's even more satisfying to coach a kid. You help them open up and see things from a new perspective…they often touch something they've never said out loud before. It's beautiful."

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