This year’s Page to Stage youth theater showcase has gone one step further — from page to stage, then to screen.
The seasonal showcase of original plays, written and directed by young dramatists, was going strong in mid-March. The plays were written and directed by seven kids and teens from local schools, and casts were composed of Rochester community members — 45 of them.
The festival itself had been in the works since last year. At Christmastime, the playwrights were finishing their final drafts of each script. In early 2020, the casts were doing live read-throughs.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the playwright-directors and casts switched to near-weekly rehearsals by video.
“It’s really the only activity we’ve been able to keep going during quarantine,” said Patti Price, with Immersion Youth Repertory.
So this week, Rochesterites can see seven livestreams from the Immersion Youth Repertory Facebook page — a half-hour showing of each script.
Obviously, moving the live theater to Facebook Live has come with some challenges. All of the actors have come up with their own props and costumes. Stage blocking and direction has been adapted to fit inside a computer window.
Price, whose 9-year-old daughter, Nora, plays a teenage king in one play, would have been carried around the stage by another actor. In this version of “A King, A Girl, and A Cucumber” by Ezri Bratrud, she’s making do by jumping and dropping in and out of frame.
“We’re doing our best to make it as real as we can,” Price said.
While each play will be streamed for free, viewers can “purchase a ticket” by donating to Immersion Youth Repertory on PayPal (available through each Facebook event).
“We would love to show off a little bit,” Price said. “Let the community know what we’re doing.”
Monday, May 18
7 p.m. “We All Dream — A One Act Play” by Max Goin
8 p.m. “Astroblast — A One Act Play” by Caleb Cano
Tuesday, May 19
7 p.m. “A King, A Girl, and A Cucumber” by Ezri Bratrud
Wednesday, May 20
7 p.m. “The Dinner Table” by Klara Stafford
Thursday, May 21
7 p.m. “Runaway Home” by Margaret Pomerleau and Becca Pelletier
Friday, May 22
7 p.m. “The Eternal Acton” by Rocco Ruggeri