News / Theater & Performance

Seth Rogen, Tony Hale and other stars are performing a series of plays by fifth graders

Seth Rogen, Tony Hale and other stars are performing a series of plays by fifth graders
Photograph: Courtesy Young Storytellers

A one-night-only production of six short plays will have some pretty significant talent on stage. Actors and comedians including Seth Rogen, Jordan Peele, Tony Hale, Thomas Middleditch, Charlie Day and John Cho are starring in these debut works by some emerging young playwrights. Very young playwrights, actually. Specifically, fifth graders.

The Biggest Show, as the show is known, is produced by Young Storytellers, a non-profit with a mission to provide mentorship and creative writing programs in Los Angeles public schools. When Young Storytellers started, it was just one informal program in a single Culver City elementary school. In nine years, they have expanded out to serving 1,200 students at 60 different LAUSD schools.

Central to the organization is what Young Storytellers calls their Script to Stage program. A group of 10 fifth graders are selected by their teachers for a 10-week intensive during which they get mentorship and support from the professional writers and actors who volunteer. At the end, all of the plays are staged by actors for the young scribes to watch. That project results in 900 scripts a year, from which the staff selects six to stage for the Biggest Show.

One of this year’s plays comes from Xiomara Diaz of Melrose Avenue Elementary School. We won’t spoil too much, but it involves a princess, an evil unicorn and, as Diaz told the L.A. Times, “It’s just about, pretty much, friendship and teamwork.”

The Biggest Show takes place Thursday, October 20 at 8pm, at the Novo by Microsoft at L.A. Live. Tickets are available online for $25.  

 

 

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