I write this entry from the student center at Drexel University, where I just finished rehearsal for a project I'm doing up in Trenton. Passage Theatre runs a program that encourages and mentors young kids to write short plays, which are then produced by professional actors and directors and performed for one weekend in their theatre. I was a part of the project last year when I played a Globe who wanted to be a singing sensation. This year, I'm playing Superbot, out to save the robots of the world. The show is a lot of fun, and I'm having a much better time than I thought I would. We met last Thursday to block out the show, and now we just worked on it for an hour or so. We ran it through, got notes, ran again, got notes, ran again, talked costumes, ran again, went home. The script is only four pages long, so it's a really easy one to fly through.
I had a good time doing it last year, because a lot of the people that I know from summer Shakespeare are also involved. The kids get a huge amount of joy to see their words come alive on the stage, and it really is a great thing to be a part of what might be their first creative experience. They really do a good job writing the plays, and part of the challenge as an actor is to really honor their words and find the honesty behind what they've written. I always love being a part of new work, and this is new work that is done in a educational setting. It's a great thing to be a part of this project, because everyone involved is really doing it for the love they get from it. I know that sounds a little geeky and overly-romantic, but it's true. This is not a project to do for the money (believe me!), but it's one to do out of generosity. Actors only have so many ways they can make the world better, and performing with young writers and for young audiences is one of them.