Grade 8 to Perform Original Plays at Stony Brook’s Avram Theater

DSC_2694 On April 4–5, Ross School eighth graders will perform three original plays at Stony Brook University’s (SBU’s) Avram Theater in Southampton. The students studied the art of playwriting, acting, and directing during English class as part of the Young Artists and Writers Project (YAWP). The project, sponsored by Stony Brook’s MFA in Creative Writing and Literature, mentors middle and high school students in the development of creative expression and critical thinking through the craft of writing.

Eighth graders were tasked with developing an original short play, and YAWP members from SBU were often on site to help the young writers move their ideas from paper to the stage. “It was an inspiring process for the students and the teachers. I’m not surprised at the talents that emerged, but it was a pleasure to watch the creative process and see the works evolve into impressive performances,” said Mark Tompkins, Cultural History teacher and eighth grade team leader.

The following plays will be performed at the Avram on Friday, April 4, at 11am and Saturday, April 5, at 7pm:

I Solemnly Swear I'm up to No Good by Nina Damiecki Actors: Emily Austopchuk and Georgia Briere Assistant Director: Nina Damiecki

Ant and the Grasshopper by Tristan Griffin Actors: Mael Oujaddou and Tristan Griffin Assistant Director: Sharon Kim

Wonderwall by Emily Costello Actors: Hannah Baker, Tristan Griffin Assistant Director: Emily Costello.


The eighth grade actors also took to the stage on March 28 in the Senior Building Lecture Hall before an audience of faculty, staff, and seventh graders. In opening remarks, Mark congratulated his class on achieving their playwright status and welcomed their younger schoolmates to observe the culmination of the studies they will experience next year. Performances included The Exorcism of Tina by Nick Swanson, This Paper by Emily Austopchuk, and All Dogs Go to Hell by India Attias.