‘Off the Hook’ is a three-phase theater program that offers young people from Red Hook a chance to write and act in their own play. These youth-written plays reflect their perceptions of the realities of living in Red Hook; these realities are common to some audience members, and eye-opening to others. The key is for all to discover a vision of the community from the eyes of local youth, and to be entertained and enlightened.
Phase One is an eight week workshop in which kids 11 to 15 years old collaborate with adult mentors to use theater to explore, analyze and empower their lives. The workshop meets once a week after school, in cooperation with the Beacon programs at PS 15 in Red Hook. The participants use a combination of the Socratic method, theater games and writing exercises to create characters, scenes and monologues to express and reflect on their life experiences.
Phase Two is a one-day writing retreat during which the youth participants build on the materials they created during the workshop to create original plays. Youth participants spend the day working on a nearby college campus, and work one-on-one with their adult mentors to produce around fifteen minutes of original drama.
Phase Three of “Off the Hook” is two weeks of extended rehearsals during which every child’s play is taken into production by a team of professional actors and directors working alongside community members. The professional artists have a variety of Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theater and film experience.