Baltimore & UK High Schools Partner to Present the London Premiere of PROSPECT HIGH: BROOKLYN
May 15, 2015: Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) and Education at Roundabout (Jennifer DiBella, Director of Education) are pleased to announce that Baltimore School for the Arts in the US and Showdown Theatre Arts in the UK will present the London premiere of PROSPECT HIGH: BROOKLYN. Written by Daniel Robert Sullivan and a team of New York City teenagers, Prospect High: Brooklyn was developed in partnership with Education at Roundabout and the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships. The play is in the midst of a Rolling World Premiere in 23 high school productions across the US, September 2015 – September 2016, but this will be the very first international production. The schools will present the play in London on June 4th at 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM. Tickets may be reserved by writing BoxOffice@TristanBatesTheatre.co.uk. Call 020 3841 6611 for more information.
The joint production will be helmed by the heads of theatre training from both institutions, Donald Hicken of Baltimore School of the Arts and Carli Jones of Showdown Theatre Arts. In a unique partnership, students from the UK attend classes for one week in Baltimore each Fall, where they workshop a show of choice while sharing practices. Each Spring, Baltimore students visit the UK, where both groups rehearse and produce an entire show in just one week. This year’s production is Prospect High: Brooklyn, the 11th of the exchange program.
Conceived by Daniel Robert Sullivan (Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys, Author of Places Please!) and co-written by a team of New York City teenagers, the play focuses on four intelligent, highly charged students and one seriously apathetic teacher. Prospect High: Brooklyn was created with the intent of offering a new collection of serious, true-to-life material for teenage actors. The play addresses themes of apathy, revenge, deep friendship, trans acceptance, casual racism, self-harm, and the power of both good and bad advice from teachers, all against the backdrop of an enormous Brooklyn high school. Prospect High: Brooklyn can be performed by 5 – 18 actors.
Co-writers of the play include Daniel Robert Sullivan, Paul Stoll, Aaliyah Stewart, Isaiah Latimer, Chanique Peart, Deshaye Tingling, Amanda Rodriguez, Jaylin Acosta, Brandy Brown, Azaria Guthrie, Rebecca Powell, Rachel Friedman, and Shannon Deep.
“The National New Play Network introduced the concept of a rolling world premiere in 1998, and I’ve always thought it would be great to offer that kind of arrangement to high schools. There is so much energy and power in teenage theatre-makers, but that positive force is often felt only locally. By introducing this fierce new play to the nation’s high schools in a coordinated way, Roundabout is not only promoting the play with positive publicity, but the schools themselves. After much research, we chose 23 of the boldest high school theatre departments from across the country and can use this first-ever high school rolling world premier to recognize them and expose their power at a national level,” notes creator Daniel Robert Sullivan.
Sullivan added, “I wanted to create an issue-driven, age-appropriate, ethnically-diverse, flexible-cast play that represents the extremes inherent in an urban high school environment. Through nine months of collaboration, these teenagers have introduced me to the issues and debates most important to them. We’ve structured these conversations into the play.”
Prospect High: Brooklyn was recently awarded semi-finalist status for the 2015 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Center and has been published by Smith & Kraus.
The following productions will conclude schedule for the 2015-16 academic year:
>Baltimore: Baltimore School for the Arts (May 2016)
>San Diego: San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (May 2016)
In New York City, the Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts will perform the play in Roundabout’s own Black Box Theatre in September 2016.
Roundabout Theatre Company is committed to producing the highest quality theatre with the finest artists, sharing stories that endure, and providing accessibility to all audiences. A not-for-profit company, Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the production of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate and engage all audiences.