Student actors from Port Townsend and Edinburgh take on mission impossible: Write, produce theatrical piece in nine days

PORT TOWNSEND — The assignment, should you decide to accept it: Create a theatrical production from scratch in collaboration with a group of people you have never met, and to have the whole thing ready to present to the public — in nine days.

That’s the mission facing 20 teenage drama students — half from Port Townsend High School, half from Scotland’s Lyceum Youth Theater in Edinburgh — who are participating in a cultural exchange project this week at Port Townsend High School.

Called “Finding Ourselves,” the project draws on experiences and feelings common to teenagers to create a production from the ground up.

“This is something different that we are introducing to the American group,” says Ben Sharrock, 16, a youth theater member in the Scottish capital for five years.

“It’s different ways of working, different types of drama.”

Begun by a PT student

The exchange was instigated by PTHS senior Jennifer Ewing, who took classes at the Lyceum Youth Theater when her family lived in Edinburgh for a year.

There, theater students participate in a project called “Beyond the Door.”

“The idea is that these are teenagers who are about to enter the door to adulthood,” says Alison Reeves, a Lyceum staff member.

“They’re looking back at the stages of their lives.”

In Scotland, the project, which employs a variety of dramatic techniques, evolves over three to four months, but for the Port Townsend visit, the students must condense the process into nine days.

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