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Bronxville Union Free School District

Student-Playwrights Meet on Stage With Broadway Actors

Eight Bronxville High School students, who have been writing one-act plays as part of an independent study funded by the Bronxville School Foundation, recently attended a Broadway show to meet with the stage manager and some of the actors.

As members of the Bronxville Bards playwright group, sophomore Lyric Abbott, junior Allison Barker, junior Rachel Billings, senior Sara Conway, sophomore Olivia Doyle, junior Griffin Garbarini, and sophomores Mary Katherine Moynihan and Viena Pentikainen saw the original musical production of Dear Evan Hansen, which is written by the Academy Award-winning duo of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Bronxville High School teacher Franco D’Alessandro, a theater professional who knew one of the show’s producers, accompanied the students and made special arrangements for them to meet with the cast and crew. Following the show, the students met on stage with Judith Schoenfeld, the production’s stage manager, along with some of the actors.

“It was a magical learning experience,” D’Alessandro said. “Our students really connected with the dramatic story of this wonderful show that has depth, meaning and beauty, particularly for young people. The opportunity for our students to meet Broadway theater professionals and share a conversation with them was such a gift. The actors were very forthcoming and gracious with their time and advice.”

The students will present their own 10-minute, one-act plays during their first Playwrights in Performance event in the auditorium on May 15, from 7-9 p.m. The event, which will feature intermission and refreshments, is free and open to the public.