Will use experience gained in New York schools to steer original work created by area teens.

Albany, N.Y. - Noted playwright and Albany native Noelle Gentile will lead Capital Repertory Theatre's faculty for Summer Theatre At theREP (STAR).

Now in its seventeenth year, STAR has provided hundreds of area teens with the opportunity to create new theatre pieces based on personal experience and in-depth research.

The shows premiere on the downtown stage at the end of each intensive annual 4-week program. Previous work has explored such diverse topics as individuality, the environment, the millennium, art & technology, Shakespeare and social networking. This year the company, ages 10-13, will create a piece around the topic of Greek Mythology, allowing students to be heroic like Camp Half-Blood's Percy Jackson and fight like Athena, the goddess of wisdom and warfare.

"The young people of STAR never cease to amaze me," says STAR producer and show director Margaret E. Hall. "As the weeks unfold, each member of STAR becomes better equipped to articulate a unique, thoughtful and personal point of view about the world. I'm reminded about the power of collaboration that is at the very crux of theatre. What starts out as a group of individuals transforms into a cohesive whole that is truly greater than the sum of its parts."

Gentile brings a wealth of experience to her post as playwright-in-residence; and she will guide participants in the creation of the script. Ms. Gentile has built a career in which her passions for social justice, education and the arts are melded. She charges young people with the task of finding their own voice and artistry, allowing them to-ultimately, through performance-bring about change in their communities. Having spent six years in New York City's public school system as a drama teacher, Ms. Gentile recently returned to the area and has already worked on two projects with local teens. On Her Shoulders, a piece about female veterans, was presented by Workforce Development Institute and the Unseen Theatre; her recent collaboration as theREP's artist-in-residence at Albany High School found student writers breaking down societal barriers in The Identity Project.

In addition to Gentile and Hall (who is theREP's assistant to the producing artistic director), other members of the STAR artistic faculty include Musical Director Doug Esmond, a recent pit band member for theREP's production of Gypsy: A Musical Fable and Choreographer Mary McCormack.

Performances of the completed STAR workshop piece are 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1; 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2; and 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3 at Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl St., Albany, 518.445.SHOW (7469), capitalrep.org. Admission is free.

For more information about the STAR program at Capital Repertory Theatre, call Education Program Manager Katherine Stephens at 518.382.3884 x168.
STAR is sponsored by CSEA and Cohoes Savings Foundation.

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Contact:

Michael Eck
Broadway Public Relations Liaison
Proctors & Capital Repertory Theatre
meck@proctors.org
518.382.3884, ext. 181