Usdan Center to collaborate with BAM on creative writing programs
RESULTING DRAMATIC WORK TO BE PERFORMED AT BAM’S NEW FISHER THEATER ON JULY 26
A new collaboration will take place this summer between Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, and the new Youth Summer Programs of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Students from Usdan’s Senior Division Creative Writing Major will travel to BAM on July 23 and 26 to work with students in BAM’s Style and Substance creative writing workshop.
Led by Usdan teacher David Surface, and BAM teacher Richard Hoehler, students will together create a narrative project that will become a play or series of interwoven monologues and dialogues. Students will work to create the theme of the piece, and will then write a script for a new piece of collaborative theater. The culminating event will take place in BAM’s new Fisher Building on Friday July 26, and will feature professional actors bringing the new theater work to life.
Andrew Copper, Associate Director of Usdan Center and Usdan’s coordinator of the project, says “Usdan Center is thrilled to partner with BAM for the first time. We are excited to see students from both organizations work together to create an exciting, vibrant and unique piece of art.”
BAM’s one-week Style and Substance program, for ages 12 to 14, from July 22-26, aims to build style, tone and voice and improve critical thinking through responses to fellow students’ work. Its Fisher Center, which opened last September, was designed as a dynamic, flexible space for new programs, Brooklyn artists and the community, with an expanded roster of talks, education and family programs. The Youth Summer Programs offer a variety of one and two-week workshops in Creative Play, Video Game Design and Creating Musical Theater.
Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, now entering its 46th year, has introduced the visual and performing arts to more than 60,000 children ages 6 to 18 at its 200-acre woodland campus in the Huntington area of Long Island. In its Creative Writing program, started (how many?) years ago, small groups of creative writing students engage the forms of poetry, short fiction and playwriting in covered, open-air studios. The program culminates in the publication of Usdan’s literary magazine, Painting with Words, a multidisciplinary publication which includes student-produced poetry and writing. Besides the regular faculty, guest teachers including Broadway playwright Michele Lowe, have taught Master Classes.
David Surface, Founder of the WriteMind Workshop, has had stories and essays published in Doubletake, North American Review, and Crazyhorse. He is a recipient of a non-fiction literature fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and is Writer-in-residence at Bronx High School for Writing and Communication Arts. Richard Hoehler is an actor, director, writer, and teaching artist. He received the OOBR Award for Best Solo Performance, and his work has been optioned by Columbia Tri-Star Television, performed at regional theaters around the country, featured at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and published by Smith & Kraus. His fiction and award-winning short stories have been published by various publications and presses. Hoehler has taught acting and writing classes in New York City schools for over twenty years, and is the workshop director for Random House, Inc.’s Creative Writing Competition.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music, a multi-arts center in downtown Brooklyn has, for more than 150 years, presented world-renowned programming in music, dance and theater, opera, film and much more, showcasing the work of emerging artists and innovative modern masters.
Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts’ alumni include actors Natalie Portman and Olivia Thirlby, singers Jane Monheit and Mariah Carey, and members of major music and dance ensembles. Usdan’s program features more than 40 three, four and seven-week programs in music, dance, theater, visual arts, writing, nature & ecology, and chess. No audition is needed for most programs. Each summer, 1,500 students are transported to the Center in air-conditioned buses each day. One-third of Usdan’s students attend on scholarship. Although the mission of the Center is for every child to establish a relationship with the arts, the unique stimulation of the Center has caused many to go on to arts careers. Usdan Center is an agency of the UJA-Federation of New York.
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