Valley Playwright Mentoring is a six month mentoring program for teens where they create performances and podcasts inspired by stories from their lives. Podcasts from previous years are available for listening on the VPM webpage and the subjects range from opioid abuse (“Look What I Got”) to cyber-bullying (“Snapchat”) to stalking (“The Phone”) to questions about identity (“Phases”) to coming out to your mother (“Lavender/Tea with Mom”).
Our goals for the program include participants:
- developing their capacity for leadership, communication and creativity
- experiencing the support of a small group of peers and adults over an extended period of time
- discovering the ways in which challenging aspects of their personal experiences can be transformed by reimagining them as theatre and sharing them for the benefit of other teens living similar stories
We were able to leverage support from the Markham-Nathan Fund over the last few years to receive a transformational three year YouthReach Grant from the Mass Cultural Council. This support, combined with Markham-Nathan’s grant from 2022-2023, allows the opportunity to expand VPM from Franklin County to Holyoke in collaboration with Holyoke Media during for the 2023 – 2024 season.” Jonathan Mirin, Piti Theatre