April 18, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Beverly Hills High Student wins playwriting award

Rayanna Zaragoza playwriting winner
THEATRE 40 will open their KIDS ACTING OUT performance program by announcing the first winner of the ‘Marilyn and Monty Hall Playwriting Award’ for young playwrights on Sunday, May 16th at 6:00 pm at their Reuben Cordova Theatre on the Beverly Hills High School campus. KIDS ACTING OUT is Theatre 40’s free after school program open to children in grades three through eight.

The evening will begin with the presentation of the Playwriting Award for young playwrights to RAYANNA ZARAGOZA, a Beverly Hills High School student recently featured in the BHHS production of CURTAINS. Miss Zaragoza will also receive a cash prize of one hundred dollars from Theatre 40 for writing the winning short play, HAPPY NEW YEAR. Illustrating the contest’s theme of ‘Responsibility,’ the play concerns the perils of drunk driving, as it follows a group of friends who party together on successive New Year’s Eves in high school. When alcohol is introduced on one New Year’s Eve, there are tragic consequences. Classmates Alex Banayan, Jason Bellet, Kevin Hekmat, Erica Javidzad and Sophia Zukowski will join Rayanna in the reading of her winning play.

The evening will continue with the presentation of two plays written by the KIDS ACTING OUT Program Director, MELANIE MACQUEEN who recently directed Theatre 40’s production of THE DRAWER BOY. The younger children (grades three and four) will perform in PERSEPHONE, GODDESS OF SPRING and the older children (grades five through eight) will perform in PANDORA’S BUM RAP. Both plays are based on Greek myths. All the children were given basic information about Greek mythology and the Greek theatre in preparation for their roles as Greek Gods and Goddesses.

KIDS ACTING OUT serves the Beverly Hills elementary/middle schools, although it is open to participation from children in other areas. Theatre 40 offers this after school program in association with the BHUSD and the workshops/rehearsals have been hosted at Horace Mann School. For more information concerning this program, go to Theatre 40’s website, www.theatre40.org and click on KIDS ACTING OUT.

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