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The Hanging Girl*

Teen West Project: Year Five

In this tale of horror, The Hanging Girl follows a group of high school students out into the woods in pursuit of a break from the stress of school life, and to honor the rebellious exploits of one of their own.  What they find there will ask deep questions about what we fear, and what lengths we'll go to in order to protect ourselves from it.  A rich and challenging tale,  The Hanging Girl promises to uphold the highest standards of the TeenWest Project and bring new work to an entirely new group of high school-aged performers.

Written By: Aleks Merilo
Directed By: Matthew B. Zrebski

*The name of the play is The Hanging Girl. Due to a dramaturgical concern, the current production will be held under an alternative title, Strings

WHAT IS TEEN WEST?

"During residencies with theatre students, I often ask, 'Do you feel like adults hear you?'  And without fail, the answer is a frustrated, 'NO!' Of course, it’s no surprise that teenagers often feel ignored. Unfortunately, though, adults sometimes believe this is simply a natural feeling for 'angsty' adolescents. I beg to differ. Yes, the ups and downs of the teenage journey can be turbulent with perceptions potentially lacking perspective. But I also think the emerging generation has incredible insight into what is coming . . . and what we should all treat as a warning. We need to listen and pay attention.

The goal of the Teen West Project is to develop and eventually publish new theatrical works by professional playwrights where aspects of the teen experience are explored and expressed through bold and innovative storytelling. In doing so, we at Playwrights West hope to give a voice to these brilliant, intelligent young people. And in only writing adolescent characters, we wish to promote immediacy to the theatrical work. These young performers get to dive into parts they can authentically portray – because they are teenagers. And because the plays are about them – their investment is potentially greater.

These works were directly inspired by candid discussions with Wilson High School students. What keeps them up at night – their joys – their sorrows – their fears? We have tried to censor very little and provide a safe and responsible environment where art can be the vehicle for discovery. In this way, the Teen West Project offers a window into the lives of the next generation. For participants, this allows a creative outlet for the investigation of tough themes/issues. For audiences, this provides hope, excitement, and maybe even a touch of fear for what the future holds."

--Matthew B. Zrebski

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Past Teen West Productions

The goal of the Teen West Project is to develop and eventually publish new theatrical works by professional playwrights where aspects of the teen experience are explored and expressed through bold and innovative storytelling.

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