AHS connects with students in Greece

What do New York City, Anatolia, Greece, Nashville, Tenn. and Ashland have in common? One New York City Theatre, Anatolia High School in Greece and Academy High School in Nashville share Theatrelink with Ashland High School.

Theatrelink is a special program through Manhattan Theatre Club, a major producer of new Broadway plays. This school-business partnership provides an unusual playwriting program using the internet and video conferencing, connecting high school theater students across the United States, and recently around the world.

Ashland High School first- and second-period theater students have experienced it first hand this year with Anatolia, Greece and Nashville, Tenn.

This year the students studied "Translations," the Irish play by Brian Friel about how the British systematically change the names of towns and places in Ireland in the 1800s. The play worked as a model for the students to write plays based on a similar theme in their home towns.

Anatolia High School in Greece wrote a play set in 1910 in Anatolia, amid the conflict with Greeks and Turkish military in a city of many ethnic groups.

AHS boarded a school bus to Rogue Community College on May 8 with all their props and costumes and set pieces to perform in RCC's video-conferencing room, since AHS does not have a performance space to accommodate a cast of 15. AHS performed this 25 minute drama for the Greek students via video conferencing. During the 40-minute post-show discussion, the Greek students praised AHS actors and designers for their acting, directing, design and costumes.

This year, the AHS second-period theater class wrote a collaborative play about a new flamboyant director who upsets the vision of "Romeo and Juliet" at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and causes a flurry of protest. The Academy High School in Nashville performed this play live via video-conferencing on May 8.

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