“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.