[metaslider id=1589]

November 2016

RIPR Feature: RI ARTSCAPE: A New Approach to Children’s Theatre in Providence

November 2016

“New collaborative play by kids to explore how bicycles empower communities”

(Providence, RI) The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) will stage its next performance: Pedal Power: The Bicycle Play, December 1-4. Performances will take place at 7pm on Thursday and Friday, and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, in the Blackbox at AS220 at 95 Empire Street in downtown Providence. There will be a talkback following the Sunday performance. The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) is a non-profit organization that unites children living in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood with local theater professionals to create original plays together. The Manton Avenue Project’s mission is to nurture the unique potential of kids living in Olneyville by unleashing their creative voices through playmaking. Each of MAP’s out-of-school time programs is focused on playwriting education, mentorship, and bringing kids’ plays to the stage.
Pedal Power: The Bicycle Play is the culminating performance of The Manton Avenue Project’s TAG TEAM program, an afterschool playwriting course held at MAP’s Clubhouse in Olneyville. Ten 5th grade playwrights will collaborate on a play about bicycling, community building and social history. For this project, The Manton Avenue Project partnered with the Recycle-A-Bike and the Woonasquatucket Rivershed Watershed Council to learn bike safety, took bike tours along the Woony River, and became more confident riders. We also partnered with Sarah Zurier from the RI Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission to learn about the ways bikes have influenced social movements. The resulting production will be directed by MAP’s Executive Artistic Director Meg Sullivan, and star local adult theatre artists Beth Alianiello, Danny Brundage, Jess Halpin, Shawn Fennell, Nicole Maynard, and Jenny Sanchez.
“The Manton Avenue Project is proud to present Pedal Power: the Bike Play! This process has been quite collaborative, and challenged MAP’s young playwrights to devise one play together as a team. This production will be a culmination of an enriching afterschool class, where we took bike rides, discussed how biking makes us feel, and learned about the important ways bikes have empowered people and communities throughout history,” says Executive Artistic Director Meg Sullivan. “As a team, the class is coming up with the story and the characters, and each child will write one scene or part of a full-length play. Our goal is to show young people in Olneyville the value of their voices and, through our ongoing and tuition-free playwriting programs, help them reach their full potential as creative thinkers and community leaders.”
This is the first production of The Manton Avenue Project’s 2016-2017 season, which is supported by a grant from June Rockwell Levy Foundation, The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, The Rhode Island Council on the Humanities, Providence Rotary Charities Foundation, United Way of Rhode Island, as well as many other individual donors.
Tickets are pay-what-you-can at the door and will be available on Eventbrite.
For more information, go to: http://mantonavenueproject.org

April 2016

“New short plays by kids celebrate the 100th birthday of National Parks”

(Providence, RI) The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) will stage its next performance: May 5-8th. Performances will take place at 7pm on Thursday and Friday, and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, in the Blackbox at AS220 on Empire Street downtown. There will be a talkback following the Sunday performance. The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) is a non-profit organization that unites children living in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood with local theater professionals to create original plays together.  The Manton Avenue Project’s mission is to nurture the unique potential of kids living in Olneyville through playmaking.  Each of MAP’s out-of-school time programs is focused on playwriting education, mentorship, and bringing kids’ creative voices to the stage.

Happy Birthday, Old Faithful: The National Park Plays is the culminating production of The Manton Avenue Project’s Playmaking program, an afterschool playwriting course held at MAP’s Clubhouse in Olneyville. Ten young playwrights, 3rd graders and 4th graders, have each written a play about a National Park.  For this project, The Manton Avenue Project partnered with the Roger Williams National Memorial. The playwrights have been learning about National Parks and the history of the National Park Service. Each playwright is writing a short play set in one of the United States’ 410 parks. The resulting production will be directed and performed by local actors from Providence’s thriving theatrical community.

“The Manton Avenue Project is proud to present Happy Birthday, Old Faithful! This production will be a culmination of an enriching afterschool class for first time playwrights, who explored characters through monologues and dialogues, and learned about the exciting history of the National Park Service through meetings with real National Park Rangers,” says Executive Artistic Director Meg Sullivan. “Each playwright chose a National Park and then set their very own ten-minute play there. The plays are about friendship, solving problems, and coming together in the beautiful places our National Parks offer. Our goal is to show young people in Olneyville the value of their voices and, through our ongoing and tuition-free playwriting programs, help them reach their full potential as creative thinkers and community leaders.”

This is the third production of The Manton Avenue Project’s 2015-2016 season, which is supported by grants from The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Andrade Faxon Charities for Children, Ocean State Charities Trust, June Rockwell Levy Foundation, a Senate Legislative Grant from the State of Rhode Island, Providence Rotary Charities Foundation, as well as many other individual donors.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can at the door.

For more information, go to: http://mantonavenueproject.org/mantonave/upcoming

February 2016

 “New collaborative play about work and labor written by 5th and 6th grade MAP playwrights”

February 1, 2016

(Providence, RI) The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) will stage its next performance: WORK IT OUT: The work and labor play, March 10-13, 2016. Performances will take place at 7pm on Thursday and Friday, and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, in the Blackbox at AS220 on Empire Street downtown. There will be a talkback following the Sunday performance. The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) is a non-profit organization that unites children living in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood with local theater professionals to create original plays together.  The Manton Avenue Project’s mission is to nurture the unique potential of kids living in Olneyville through playmaking.  Each of MAP’s out-of-school time programs is focused on playwriting education, mentorship, and bringing kids’ creative voices to the stage.

WORK IT OUT: the work and labor play is the culminating performance of The Manton Avenue Project’s TAG TEAM program, an afterschool playwriting course held at MAP’s Clubhouse in Olneyville. Nine young playwrights, 5th graders and 6th graders, will collaborate on a play about work.  For this project, The Manton Avenue Project partnered with the Coggeshall Museum, The Steelyard, and the Museum of Work and Culture. The playwrights have been learning and discussing the history of work and labor in Rhode Island, and in their own families. The resulting production will be directed by MAP’s executive artistic director Meg Sullivan, and star local adult theatre artists Bobby Casey, Jess Halpin, Jeff Hodge, Nicole Maynard, Kelly Seigh, and Rodney Witherspoon.

“The Manton Avenue Project is proud to present WORK IT OUT: the work and labor play! The title alludes to the theme, but also to the process, which is collaborative, and involves a team effort of devising one play together. This production will be a culmination of an enriching afterschool class, where we discussed our own family work histories and learned about the important history of labor in Olneyville and Rhode Island as a whole,” says Executive Artistic Director Meg Sullivan. “As a team, the class is coming up with the story and the characters, and each child will write one scene in a longer play that deals with labor, how work creates meaning in our lives, and the dreams of a better life that brought many immigrants looking for work to the Ocean State. Our goal is to show young people in Olneyville the value of their voices and, through our ongoing and tuition-free playwriting programs, help them reach their full potential as creative thinkers and community leaders.”

This is the second production of The Manton Avenue Project’s 2015-2016 season, which is supported by a grant from The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Andrade Faxon Charities for Children, Ocean State Charities Trust, June Rockwell Levy Foundation, a Senate Legislative Grant from the State of Rhode Island, Providence Rotary Charities Foundation, as well as many other individual donors.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can at the door.

For more information, go to: http://mantonavenueproject.org/mantonave/upcoming

 

 January 2016

RISCA AWARDS ONE NEIGHBORHOOD BUILDERS CULTURAL FACILITIES GRANT TO DEVELOP NEW THEATRE SPACE FOR MAP AND OTHERS IN OLNEYVILLE

January 11, 2016

(Providence, RI) The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) is thrilled to announce that their partners at ONE Neighborhood Builders are recipients of a competitive RISCA Cultural Facilities Grant to transform unused space at the 116,000 square foot Paragon Mills in Olneyville Square into a community theatre space. The Manton Avenue Project will manage the space, presenting their four annual play festivals to public audiences, and holding afterschool classes, Teen Voices meetings, and rehearsals in the new space. MAP will also be charged with programming the space with other local performing arts groups seeking space to present their works and offer community classes.

“This grant represents a giant first step in realizing MAP’s dream of a neighborhood theatre space where we can produce our play festivals, to give our young playwrights an artistic home right in the heart of their community,” says MAP’s Executive Artistic Director, Meg Sullivan, “This space will mean so much for our future – a future in which our playwrights’ and their families can be even more involved with productions, and a future which puts Olneyville on theatrical map in Rhode Island. On the heels of our recent strategic planning process, we are eager to begin this next phase of our organization’s development. We look forward to working with our partners at ONE Neighborhood Builders to create a flexible performance space for our students to let their imaginations soar, and an affordable and accessible space for other local performing groups to express their creative voices with our community. In the coming months, MAP will host community meetings at our Clubhouse, aimed at gathering feedback as we develop plans for this much needed space.”

“We are over the moon,” says MAP’s board chair Kelly Seigh, “We are so grateful to RISCA and ONE Neighborhood Builders for believing in MAP and in our future. The Manton Avenue Project has long been seeking a theatre of our own to professionally produce our amazing young playwrights’ works. We are excited to work with ONE to create a thriving performing arts space in Olneyville. The future continues to brighten for MAP and for Olneyville.”

About RISCA’s State Cultural Facilities Grant Program: The State Cultural Facilities Grant Program (SCFG) was created because state lawmakers and voters recognized that many significant cultural properties in our state need extensive repairs or restoration, and that these organization contribute significantly to the state and local economy.  These facilities and the organizations that enliven them contribute to the quality of life in Rhode Island and insure that our arts and cultural activities continue to inspire new generations.  Moreover, the arts and cultural sector creates jobs, stimulates tourism, and builds and revitalizes our downtowns, neighborhoods and communities throughout the state

About The Manton Avenue Project: The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) offers tuition-free afterschool playwriting programs in Providence, RI, aimed at empowering young voices and giving young people tools to forge ahead to become tomorrow’s creative thinkers and community leaders. MAP is committed to nurturing the unique potential of young people in Olneyville, one of Providence’s lowest income neighborhoods, by unleashing their creative voices and uniting them with professional artists to create original theatre. We see theatre as a specifically powerful tool for social and personal change. MAP’s long-term programming offers supports and opportunities needed for positive and creative youth development, strengthening students’ resilience and self-efficacy – two indicators of healthy adulthood. MAP is changing lives, one play at a time.

About ONE Neighborhood Builders: ONE Neighborhood Builders’ (ONE NB) mission is to work with residents to build a safe, healthy and stable community.  We accomplish our mission through four lines of business: (1) creation and preservation of affordable housing, and development of commercial real estate to spur economic development, (2) ONE Neighborhood Works – our social enterprise which prepares young people for work while providing landscaping and maintenance services in the neighborhood’s public spaces, (3) individual asset building to prepare families for homeownership, and (4) community building and organizing to strengthen the neighborhood’s social fabric.

 

April 2015

COX HUB.COM: MANTON AVENUE PROJECT TEAMS KIDS AND THEATRE PROFESSIONALS

“Many studies have noted the positive effect of the arts in public education, but it’s primarily music and the visual arts that are emphasized. At the Manton Avenue Project (MAP), in Providence, Rhode Island’s Olneyville neighborhood, however, the focus is on creating original theatre by connecting students from third-grade through high school with theatre professionals.

“Within MAP’s construct the students write plays with mentors, and adults most often direct and act in the plays. But just how are kids and theatre a winning combination?

“The idea of offering up the stage to a young person and saying, ‘This is your space, right here, right now, we are all listening to you,'” begins MAP’s executive/artistic director Meg Sullivan. “There’s something magic about the live moment.”

A founding member of Elemental Theatre Collective and the chair of MAP’s board of directors Kelly Seigh concurs: “The students are learning that what they have to say is important and should be heard. Nothing is wrong. And there’s a sense of pride when the show is complete and being shown to an audience.”

MAP was founded in 2004 by Jenny Peek, who had worked at the 52nd St. Project in New York City and who came to Rhode Island to use that model to initiate a playwriting program among students in one of Providence’s low-income neighborhoods. She remained MAP’s director until Sullivan came on board in 2011.

Peek established the core program, which involved students from third grade through seventh grade, with different ways for individuals to create plays for the first two grades, then working in teams in fifth and sixth grades and co-starring with an adult actor in dialogues for fifth through seventh graders.

Two years ago, when the organization moved into its very own space, called “The Clubhouse,” two new programs were added: “Fun Fridays” with guest artists and Teen Voices for seventh through twelfth graders. A grant to the Olneyville Housing Agency specified two community spaces, and MAP landed one of those, just two blocks from the William D’Abate Elementary School in Olneyville.

Approximately 75 students cycle through the MAP programs each year, and MAP works hard to carry 10 students from each grade through five years of the project.

“We’re trying to set up this long-time commitment,” Sullivan stresses. “We really get to know each child and each family.”

Sullivan has also introduced “themes” into the playwriting, such as endangered species, outer space, gardening, small business and public parks. Once she’s settled on a theme, she invites experts to talk to the students, which means that each project involves research before the writing begins. In addition to what they are absorbing about the topic at hand, they are learning problem-solving, conflict-resolution and collaboration, because that’s always part of the process of putting on a play.

Casey Seymour-Kim, a member of Gamm Theatre’s acting company, has been with MAP since the get-go. In the first play, she portrayed George Washington’s dog, Lucky, who turns into a super-villain, Wormy, after an encounter with “toxic ooze.” She points out that MAP offers opportunities to enhance literary and critical thinking and thereby gives its participants a sense of empowerment.

“We often dismiss the ideas and opinions of children, especially those from lower socio-economic circumstances,” she points out. “But in performance, we honor their opinion or argument or point of view, and they feel their ideas are worth listening to.”

Brien Lang and his wife Clare Blackmer, founding artists with the Wilbury Theatre Group,have been involved in MAP for nine years. Lang praises the “community-creating experience” the young playwrights get at MAP when their plays are designed, directed and acted in by local professionals.

“The imagination and creativity that these students bring to their work is truly inspiring,” he observes. “Where else would an actor get the chance to play a guitar-playing monkey lawyer, the ghost of a saber-toothed tiger or a ninja-egg-stealing skunk? It’s the best gig in town!”

Apparently, the students agree. Raymond, 11, says, “At MAP, I get to write a play and show the world who I am!”

Stephanie, 10, chimes in: “I can express myself the way I want to. I learned that I can let my imagination run free.”

“The hardest part is that you need to think everything by yourself, but I feel great about everything I learned,” says Osiel, 12.

Perhaps Keilly, 9, sums it up best: “Because of MAP, I’ve learned that I can do anything!”

 

February 2015

Brown Daily Herald: “U. to Launch Engaged Scholars Program”

“Engaged scholarship is “work from Brown for and with the world beyond Brown,” said Erik Ehn, chair and professor of TAPS. Department members in TAPS have worked with community partners such as English for Action, Central Falls High School, Mathewson Street United Methodist Church, The Manton Avenue Project and AS220 in courses involving engaged scholarship.”

January 2015

Press Release for Open for Business: the entrepreneurship play!

 “Kids as entrepreneurs and playwrights in Open for Business

 (Providence, RI) The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) is proud to present its next production: “OPEN FOR BUSINESS: the entrepreneurship play!” February 13-15, 2015. Performances will take place at 7pm on Friday and Saturday, and at 3pm on Sunday, in the Media and Performing Arts Center at the MET School at 325 Public Street in Providence. There will be a talkback with the playwrights and actors following the Sunday performance. The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) is a non-profit organization that unites children living in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood with local theater professionals to create original plays together.  The Manton Avenue Project’s mission is to unleash the creative voices and unique potential of kids living in Olneyville through playmaking. Each of MAP’s out-of-school time programs is focused on playwriting education, mentorship, and bringing kids’ voices to the stage.

“OPEN FOR BUSINESS ” is the culminating performance of The Manton Avenue Project’s Tag Team program, an afterschool playwriting class held at MAP’s Clubhouse in Olneyville. Seven young playwrights, 5th graders at William D’Abate elementary, have collaborated on a play about starting a business, in this case a homeless resource center and ice cream/pizza parlor in Olneyville Square. For this project, The Manton Avenue Project partnered with the Business Innovation Factory, and the playwrights learned about creating an ethical and sustainable business model for their community. The resulting production will be directed by Brien Lang, and designed and performed by the wonderful talents of local adult theatre artists, including Lang, Clare Blackmer, Kelly Seigh, Kristin Elliott, and MAP’s Artistic Director Meg Sullivan.

“This production will be the culmination of an enriching afterschool class where we’ve discussed what we would do if we had a storefront in Olneyville Square. What kind of business would best serve our community? What does our community need? As a team, the playwrights came up with the characters and story line through a wonderfully challenging process of negotiating and creative collaboration, and each child has written an ‘act’ within a full-length play,” says Executive/Artistic Director Meg Sullivan. “Our goal is to bring kids’ creative voices to the public stage and, through our ongoing and tuition-free playwriting programs, to help them reach their full potential as tomorrow’s creative thinkers and community leaders.”

This program is supported by a 2015 mini-grant from The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Manton Avenue Project’s 2014-15 season and programs are also supported by The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, a Citizens Bank Growing Communities grant, a Senate Legislative Grant from the State of Rhode Island, a grant from the Katherine Baker Charitable Trust, The United Way of RI, as well as many other individual and corporate donors.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can at the door. Reservations are available on Eventbrite (http://bit.ly/1AYdOzl) or by phone (401) 331-7007 or email (info@mantonavenueproject.org). For more information about MAP, visit our website, www.mantonavenueproject.org.

Providence Journal: Mayor Elorza’s inauguration will be a three-day event

“On Sunday, the Providence Children’s Museum will host a celebration from noon to 3 p.m. In addition to regular exhibits, other activities will be offered by the Providence Youth Arts Collaborative, including the Manton Avenue Project, CityArts, Everett Theatre Company, Community Music Works and AS220 Youth.”

October 2014

Press Release for Good Neighbors: the Olneyville plays!

“New plays by kids, performed by adults, about Olneyville and being good neighbors”

 (Providence, RI) The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) will stage its next performance: “GOOD NEIGHBORS: the Olneyville plays!”  December 5-7, 2014. Performances will take place at 7pm on Friday and Saturday, and 3pm on Sunday, in the Media and Arts Center at the Met School at 325 Public St. in Providence. There will be a talkback following the Sunday performance. The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) is a non-profit organization that unites children living in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood with local theater professionals to create original plays together.  The Manton Avenue Project’s mission is to unleash the creative voices and unique potential of kids living in Olneyville through playmaking.  Each of MAP’s out-of-school time programs is focused on playwriting education, mentorship, and bringing kids’ voices to the stage.

“GOOD NEIGHBORS: the Olneyville plays!” is the culminating performance of The Manton Avenue Project’s Play-it-Again program, an afterschool playwriting class held at MAP’s Clubhouse in Olneyville. Seven young playwrights, 4th and 5th graders  at William D’Abate elementary, have each written a play about what is means to be a goodneighbor. For this project, The Manton Avenue Project partnered with the Rhode Island Historical Commission, and the playwrights learned about the history of the Olneyville neighborhood. The resulting production will be directed, designed, and performed by the wonderful talents of local adult theatre artists.  The twist in this production? A different “cameo” character makes an appearance in each play, played by local actor Peter Deffet.

“The Manton Avenue Project is proud to present GOOD NEIGHBORS: the Olneyville Plays! This production will be a culmination of an enriching afterschool class, where we’ve discussed our neighborhood and what it means to be neighborly. Why do we need our neighbors? How should we treat our neighbors? What has changed in our neighborhood over the years? What is changing now? What is our ideal neighborhood? Each child has written a play that takes place anytime in Olneyville’s past, present or future and deals with the questions of making a community out of a neighborhood through kind actions,” says Executive Artistic Director Meg Sullivan. “Our goal is to show Olneyville kids the value of their voices and, through our ongoing and tuition-free playwriting programs, help them reach their full potential as creative thinkers and community leaders.”

This program is supported by a 2014 major grant from The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  This is the first production of The Manton Avenue Project’s 2014-15 season, which is also supported by a grant from The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, a Citizens Bank Growing Communities grant, a Senate Legislative Grant from the State of Rhode Island, a grant from the Katherine Baker Charitable Trust, as well as many other individual and corporate donors.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can at the door. To reserve a seat, visit our Eventbrite page: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/good-neighbors-the-olneyville-plays-tickets-13855812107 or call (401) 331-7007. For more information about MAP, go to www.mantonavenueproject.org.

July 2014

Press Release for Off the Grid: the electricity plays!

“New plays by kids performed by local adult talents in the next MAP production – OFF THE GRID: the electricity plays!

 (Providence, RI) The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) will stage its next performance, “OFF THE GRID: THE ELECTRICITY PLAYS!” August 2 and 3, 2014.  Performances will take place at 2pm and 5pm on Saturday, and Sunday at 2pm at 95 Empire, AS220’s Blackbox performance space downtown. The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) is a non-profit organization that unites children living in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood with local theater professionals to create original plays together.  The Manton Avenue Project’s mission is to unleash the creative voices and unique potential of kids living in Olneyville through playmaking.  Each of MAP’s out-of-school time programs is focused on playwriting and mentorship that culminates in performance. All of The Manton Avenue Project’s out-of-school programs are tuition-free.

“OFF THE GRID: the electricity plays,” is the culminating performance of The Manton Avenue Project’s Dialogue program, a summer playwriting class held at MAP’s Clubhouse in Olneyville. Seven young playwrights, 6th– 8th graders, will perform short plays with their adult partners – wonderful talents from across Rhode Island’s rich theatre community. The theme of the plays is electricity, and in our classes we’ll ask where our power comes from in Rhode Island, and how we can conserve electricity and find alternative forms of energy.  The Manton Avenue Project is partnering with National Grid for this production.

“We are thrilled to present OFF THE GRID – each of our young playwrights from Olneyville is writing a play about how we use electricity in our lives, and will be co-starring in their plays with wonderful adult actors,” says Executive Artistic Director Meg Sullivan. “Our goal is to show Olneyville kids the value of their voices and, through the long-term commitment that MAP makes to each young person, help them reach their full potential as creative thinkers and leaders in their community. The Manton Avenue Project is theatre written by kids, performed by adults, and enjoyed by everyone”

This is the final production of The Manton Avenue Project’s 2013-14 season, and is supported by Ocean State Charities, a Major Grant from The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, a general operating support from The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, The Andrade-Faxon Charities for Children, a Senate Legislative Grant from the State of Rhode Island, The Barker Foundation, as well as many individual and corporate donors.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can at the door. Donations are encouraged.  Reservations at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/off-the-grid-the-electricity-plays-tickets-12143638951.

June 2014

MAP deemed “hot” in GoLocalProv’s “Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in RI Politics”

May 2014

United Way bestows $100,000 in grants to Olneyville agencies: MAP is a recipient!

April 2014

MAP Featured on GoodNEWSRI

kids on the set of Good News RI!

We were thrilled to be invited to perform segments of our Be My Ally: the upstander play last week on GoodNewsRI, which will air in April on local cable networks.

Press release for A Change is Gonna Come: the music and social change plays!

Providence, RI) The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) will stage its next performance: “A CHANGE IS GONNA COME: the music and social change plays.” Performances will take place at 7pm on Friday and Saturday, and 3pm on Sunday, in the Media and Arts Center at the Met School at 325 Public St. in Providence. The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) is a non-profit organization that unites children living in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood with local theater professionals to create original plays together.  The Manton Avenue Project’s mission is to unleash the creative voices and unique potential of kids living in Olneyville through playmaking.  Each of MAP’s out-of-school time programs is focused on playwriting education, mentorship, and bringing kids’ voices to the stage.

“A CHANGE IS GONNA COME: the music and social change plays ” is the culminating performance of The Manton Avenue Project’s Playmaking program, an afterschool playwriting class held at MAP’s Clubhouse in Olneyville. Ten first-time playwrights, most in the 3rd grade, have each written a 10-minute play exploring how music has shaped and changed society in US history.  For this project, The Manton Avenue Project is partnering with Girls Rock RI and Everett Company Stage and School. The resulting production will be directed, designed, and performed by the wonderful talents of local adult theatre artists.

“The Manton Avenue Project is proud to present A Change is Gonna Come: the music and social change plays. This production will be a culmination of an exciting first-time playwriting process for the young people in our Playmaking class. Each child has learned about important songs from history – songs that empowered people during important social movements and civil rights movements – and each child has written their own play incorporating their own empowering songs,” says Executive Artistic Director Meg Sullivan. “Our goal is to show Olneyville kids the value of their voices and, through our ongoing and tuition-free playwriting programs, help them reach their full potential as creative thinkers and community leaders.”

This program supported by a major grant from The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, and independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This is the second production of The Manton Avenue Project’s 2013-14 season, which is also supported by a grants from The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, a Citizens Bank Growing Communities grant, a Senate Legislative Grant from the State of Rhode Island, a grant from the Katherine Baker Charitable Trust, as well as many other individual and corporate donors.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can. Sunday matinee performance will include a post show talkback. For reservations, call (401) 331-7007. For more information about MAP, go to www.mantonavenueproject.org.

February 2014

Motif features Tag Team program!

Brown Daily Herald article about MAP 

MAP featured in Providence Monthly 

January 2014

Press release for Be My Ally: the upstander play

“MAP presents new plays by kids about allies and upstanders”

(Providence, RI) The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) will stage its next performance, “BE MY ALLY: the upstander play” February 14-16th 2014. Performances will take place at 7pm on Friday, and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday, in the Media and Arts Center at the Met School at 325 Public St. in Providence. The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) is a non-profit organization that unites children living in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood with local theater professionals to create original plays together.  The Manton Avenue Project’s mission is to unleash the creative voices and unique potential of kids living in Olneyville through playmaking.  Each of MAP’s out-of-school time programs is focused on playwriting education, mentorship, and bringing kids’ voices to the page and to the stage.

“BE MY ALLY: the upstander play” is the culminating performance of The Manton Avenue Project’s Tag Team program, a 6-week playwriting class held at MAP’s new Clubhouse in Olneyville. Nine young playwrights, each in the 5th grade, have collaboratively written a full-length play around the theme of kindness, and turning bystanders into upstanders in bullying situations. The resulting production will be directed by David Rabinow and performed by the wonderful talents of local adult theatre artists. For this project, The Manton Avenue Project is partnering with TalkWorks, an anti-bullying theatre program.

“The Manton Avenue Project is proud to present Be My Ally: the upstander play – a very timely production around an incredibly important theme. This production will be a culmination of an exciting collaborative process for the young people in our Tag Team class. After coming up with the characters and plot as a team, each child will write one act in a larger play which we will present with a cast of excellent adult actors,” says Executive Artistic Director Meg Sullivan. “Our goal is to show Olneyville kids the value of their voices and, through our ongoing and tuition-free playwriting programs, help them reach their full potential as creative thinkers and community leaders.”

This is the second production of The Manton Avenue Project’s 2013-14 season, which is supported by a general operating grant from The Rhode Island Council on the Humanities, The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, a Citizens Bank Growing Communities grant, a Senate Legislative Grant from the State of Rhode Island, a grant from the Katherine Baker Charitable Trust, as well as many other individual and corporate donors.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can. Saturday and Sunday matinee performances will include appearances by special guests.  For reservations, call (401) 331-7007. For more information about the Project, go to www.mantonavenueproject.org.

2013

MAP joins #GivingTuesday Movement

Providence Phoenix features MAP!

MAP Receives “Growing Communities” Grant through Citizens and LISC

MAP Featured on GoodNEWSRI, airing November 2

1395128_663773913640460_1284092570_n

 

Press Release for Woonasquatucket River Plays!

In the Woony River Plays, youth playwrights delve into depths of local waterway!”

(Providence, RI) The Manton Avenue Project will stage its next performance, “A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT: THE WOONASQUATUCKET RIVER PLAYS”, Thursday and Friday, August 1st and 2nd at 95 Empire’s Blackbox theatre at 7pm, and Saturday and Sunday, August 3rd and 4th along the banks of the river at Riverside Park in Olneyville at 3pm. The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) is a non-profit organization that unites children living in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood with local theater professionals to create original plays together.  The Manton Avenue Project’s mission is to unleash the creative voices and unique potential of kids living in Olneyville through out-of-school time programming in playwriting, mentorship, and performance.

“A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT: THE WOONASQUATUCKET RIVER PLAYS” is the culminating performance of The Manton Avenue Project’s DIALOGUE program, a 4-week summer playwriting class held at MAP’s new clubhouse in Olneyville. Six youth playwrights (grades 4-12) have each written a ten-minute play. The resulting production will be directed and performed by the wonderful talents of local adult theatre artists, as well as the kids themselves. The theme of the plays will the Woonasquatucket River, the stewardship of the watershed and the history of the river in Olneyville.  The Manton Avenue Project is partnering with the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council for this summer’s program.

The DIALOGUE program is for kid playwrights who have completed at least The Manton Avenue Project’s first two playwriting courses. The focus is of this program is letting kids’ imaginations soar through playwriting and involving them in the performance of their plays.

“We are thrilled to present A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT: THE WOONY RIVER PLAYS, another example of Olneyville kids expressing their amazing imaginations on the public stage with incredible adult artists supporting them,” says Artistic Director Meg Sullivan. “Our goal is to show Olneyville kids the value of their voices and, through the long-term commitment that MAP makes to each young person, help them reach their full potential as the creative thinkers and leaders in the community.”

The Manton Avenue Project’s 2012-13 season is supported by a general operating grant from The Rhode Island Council on the Arts, The Andrade-Faxon Charities for Children, Citizens Bank, and by a Senate Legislative Grant of the State of Rhode Island. The Dialogue program is also sponsored by TACO/The White Family Foundation.

Tickets are free but reservations are encouraged.  For reservations, call (401) 331-7007. For more information about the Project, go to www.mantonavenueproject.org

MAP featured in Providence Monthly

MAP featured in Motif Magazine 

Press Release: BE MAP’s VALENTINE show!

“In BE MAP’S VALENTINE, kid playwrights tackle love, compassion, and sonnets”

(January 20, 2013, Providence, RI) The Manton Avenue Project will stage its next performance, “BE MAP’S VALENTINE” during the weekend of February 15th at The Media and Arts Center at Met Public, 325 Public Street, in Providence.  Performances are Friday evening at 7:00 PM, Saturday at 7:00 PM, and Sunday at 3:00 PM.  The Manton Avenue Project is a non-profit organization that unites children living in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood with local theater professionals to create original theater together.  The Manton Avenue Project’s mission is to unleash the creative voices and unique potential of kids living in Olneyville.

“BE MAP’S VALENTINE” is the culminating performance of The Manton Avenue Project’s Tag Team program.  Eight of our kid playwrights (ages 9-13) have each written a ten-minute act in a full-length play about love and compassion inspired by Valentine’s Day. The resulting play will be performed by the wonderful talents of local adult actors and directed by MAP regular Nicole Maynard.

The Tag Team program is for kid playwrights who joined The Manton Avenue Project in the 3rd grade and have completed at least two of our programs. Tag Team’s focus is collaboration and teamwork within the creative process of playwriting.

“We are thrilled to present BE MAP’S VALENTINE, another example of Olneyville kids expressing their amazing imaginations on the public stage with incredible adult artists supporting them,” says Artistic Director Meg Sullivan. “Our goal is to show our kids the value of their voices and, through the long-term commitment that MAP makes to each child, help each child reach their full potential as the creative thinkers and leaders in the community.”

The Manton Avenue Project’s 2012-13 season is supported by a general operating grant from The Rhode Island Council on the Arts.

Tickets are free but reservations are encouraged.  For reservations, call (401) 331-7007.  For directions to Met Public, and for more information about the Project, go to www.mantonavenueproject.org

2012

Press Release: MAP IN SPACE production!

“Kid Playwrights Venture Out of this World with MAP IN SPACE”

(Providence, RI. November 28, 2012) The Manton Avenue Project will stage its next performance, “MAP IN SPACE: the cosmos plays” during the weekend of December 7th at The Media and Arts Center at Met Public, 325 Public Street, in Providence.  Performances are Friday evening at 7:00 PM, Saturday at 7:00 PM, and Sunday at 3:00 PM.  The Manton Avenue Project is a non-profit organization that unites children living in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood with local theater professionals to create original theater together.

“MAP IN SPACE” is part of The Manton Avenue Project’s Play-It-Again program.  Eight of our kid playwrights (ages 9-10) have each written a ten-minute play about outer space inspired by a special trip – the first ever for the kids – to the Planetarium at Roger Williams Park. Each of these plays will be performed by the wonderful talents of local adult actors, including a special appearance in each play by a different cameo character played by actor Brien Lang.

The Play-It-Again program is for second-time playwrights who joined The Manton Avenue Project in the 3rd grade. The Manton Avenue Project’s mission is to unleash the creative voices and unique potential of kids living in Olneyville.

“We are thrilled to present MAP IN SPACE, another example of Olneyville kids expressing their amazing imaginations on the public stage with incredible adult artists supporting them,” says Artistic Director Meg Sullivan. ”Our goal is to show our kids the value of their voices and, through the long-term commitment that MAP makes to each child, help each child reach their full potential as the creative thinkers and leaders in the community.”

The Manton Avenue Project’s 2012-13 season is supported by a general operating grant from The Rhode Island Council on the Arts.

Tickets are free but reservations are encouraged.  For reservations, call (401) 331-7007.  For directions to Met Public, and for more information about the Project, go to www.mantonavenueproject.org

2011

MAP Featured on the RI Monthly blog!

Press Release: Recent Leadership Transition

The Manton Avenue Project Looks to Increase Reach and Depth of Programming by Growing From a Founder-Run Organization to One with Fresh Leadership

(Providence, August 23, 2011) – After a four-month nationwide search, The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) announced today the hiring of new artistic director, Meg Sullivan.

Sullivan’s appointment follows a throng of recent strides to build MAP’s infrastructure, including: a redesigned website scheduled to launch in early September, an in-depth program evaluation and learning report made possible by a grant from the Rhode Island Foundation, continued financial support from the RI State Council on the Arts and The Katharine Baker Charitable Trust, and the announcement of a physical home, that will be donated by Olneyville Housing and serve as the Project’s clubhouse beginning July 2012. In addition, a search for a part-time managing director is underway to capitalize on the recent gains.

“I am delighted to jump on-board at such an exciting time as MAP plans new initiatives that will help us best fulfill our mission,” said Sullivan. “The new space will allow us to become an even stronger presence in the Olneyville community and to develop more programming, including a teen voices program.”

Sullivan will replace Founder and current artistic director, Jenny Peek, who was the catalyst in bringing in her successor.

“I believe that fresh eyes and new leadership are just what this organization that I love so much needs. And what it deserves,” said Peek, who came to Providence from New York City with no ties to the state and nothing more than a voracious desire to use her ingenuity and experience from the theater world to establish a nonprofit that would enrich children’s lives through playmaking.

During Peek’s seven-and-a-half years as artistic director, MAP has grown to become a beloved philanthropy for local artists. Her tenure has brought over 200 such volunteers, 11 volunteer board members, two part-time employees (including Peek), and the craft of playwriting to 76 children, teaching them accomplishment, language, and life skills.

Sullivan brings a unique mix of education, theater experience, and worldliness to MAP and the larger Providence arts community

A current Boston resident, Sullivan grew up traveling the country with her Opera singer parents. Most recently she lived in Austin, Texas where she completed her MFA in Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas Department of Theater and Dance. A professional performer, she was a founding member of The Meeting Point dance collective and is a company member of the Rude Mechs, a critically acclaimed and internationally touring theatre collective.

“Because of her unique blend of education, experience, and theater background, Meg (Sullivan) will relate to all of MAP’s key stakeholders – artists, supporters, board members, parents and, most importantly, the kids,” said Heather Florence, the chairperson of the MAP board of directors.

While in Austin, Sullivan also served as co-director of the Rude Mechs’ Grrl Action, a program that worked to improve teenage girls’ self efficacy and resilience through autobiographical performance and arts mentorship. In addition, she coordinated an arts integration program called Learning Through the Arts, where she spent many hours in elementary school classrooms teaching core subjects through arts-based activities.

“This was, and will probably stand as the most important hiring decision we as a board will ever have to make,” said Florence. “And we are all confident Meg is the right decision.”

Peek, who knows the intricacies and skills necessary for the job better than anyone, agrees.

“I believe in her. Completely,” she said in an announcement to supporters. “Beyond her oh-so-perfect-for-MAP resume, she is kind, intuitive, funny, deeply caring, down-to-earth, engaging, creative and utterly passionate about theater and children.”

Sullivan is currently working with her first group of kid playwrights. Her debut as artistic director will be the 375 ROGER (OVER AND OUT)! The happy-birthday-providence plays, running September 9th through the 11th. She plans on making Providence her permanent home in November.

Sign up for our Email Newsletter