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Column: Success of Playfest in 2012

— Students, staff and some community members all came together to create something meaningful and beautiful for the Playfest at T.C. Williams High School Black Box Theatre last November. In 2011, the Playfest made its debut in the city at the Lee Center for the Performing Arts in Old Town and featured local playwrights. This year there were many more students involved in the production of the festival from the selection of the playwrights to the stage management. Co-sponsored by ARHA, the Playfest was a collection of scenes from playwrights from Alexandria, Indiana, Arizona and New Jersey. There were also actors from New Jersey who traveled to be a part of the production with a play entitled “Teenage Love” by Aaron Wright.

Satellite students and staff were featured in the scenes dealing with missing children, legislation deeming homeboys as terrorists, struggling with peer pressure as young people, STDs, teenage pregnancy, abstinence and infidelity in relationships. The participating thespians and supportive principal of the TC Satellite Campus deserve both kudos and gratitude.

Thank you to Dr. Sherman, Dr. Henson, Dr. Wilson (principal of TC Satellite), Roy Priest, Sandra Fowler, Mr. Trice, Leslie Jones, Shawn Thorpe (Center for the Arts K12), Gary Ayers, Julia Hardeman-Tsadick, TC Satellite staff, Stephanie Tullis, Tiffany Pappadam, Cierra Boyd, Bre Nee Ruffin, Shanelle Gayden (playwright), Alicia Harris, Anderson Jarreau, Anthony Pullen, Andrew Bangura, John N. Price, Rodjae Gatlin, Norman Frye, Mary Price, Morning Bishop (playwright), Rah Mah Mercy (playwright) and Aaron Wright (playwright) and New Jersey Traveling Theatre.

After each show, the actors were gathered onstage to share their creative process with the audience. Students from the Satellite Campus were able to articulate their feelings about the subject manner of their respective scenes and how they were able to invest in their characters. Both nights, we were fortunate to have a supportive crowd and hope to increase our audience in the future.