MANHATTAN — Ten public school students from across New York City are newly published playwrights.
They will have a chance to watch their 10-minute-long original productions performed live on a professional stage in the middle of Manhattan.
The plays will be presented over the course of two days. Performances will be held at 7 p.m. on both Tuesday and Wednesday at the Rose Nagelberg Theatre at the Baruch Center for the Performing Arts.
The 10 students hail from schools across the city that are participating in LeAp Onstage, a theater program for economically disadvantaged and culturally isolated New York City public school students.
The schools include Gramercy Arts High School, Health Opportunities High School, Fordham High School for the Arts, Philippa Schuyler Middle School, Lower Manhattan Arts Academy, Hillcrest High School, Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts, Brooklyn High School of the Arts and Salk School of Science.
Each school tasked its students with writing a 10-minute play, and the best productions were then selected to be part of the two-day series of performances.
The plays have also been published by renowned publisher Samuel French.
Damar Van Putten, a senior at the High School for Public Service: Heroes of Tomorrow in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, will present his play, “20 Percent,” on Wednesday night.
The play, Van Putten explained, centers on a boy who joins a gang and robs a bodega.
But over the course of the production, the boy finds out that the bodega is owned by his friend’s father.
“So then he drops the gang,” Van Putten, 17, said. “It’s just basically about choices, decisions.”
Van Putten, who lives in Flatbush, said he at first tried to write a comedy but scrapped it in favor of something more dramatic.
“It is a real-life situation,” he said. “[Plays] are eligible to move a certain crowd in certain ways.”
Van Putten, who will be heading to SUNY Potsdam in the fall, said he is looking forward to seeing his play performed on a large stage with a cast made up entirely of his friends.
“I’m just looking forward to the audience’s reaction to my play,” he said. “I just want to show it.”
All 10 plays will be performed on Tuesday and Wednesday. The shows begin at 7 p.m. on each night and will be held in the Rose Nagelberg Theatre at the Baruch Center for the Performing Arts, located on Lexington Avenue at East 24th Street.