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White Plains Performing Arts Center Showcases Westlake High 'Page To Stage'

Westlake High School writers, sitting, from left: Nicole Grossman and Kiera Torpie. Standing, from left: Jessica Kaplan, Michelle Barbero, Brian Bennett, Julia O'Connell, Jenna Arkontaky
Westlake High School writers, sitting, from left: Nicole Grossman and Kiera Torpie. Standing, from left: Jessica Kaplan, Michelle Barbero, Brian Bennett, Julia O'Connell, Jenna Arkontaky Photo Credit: Provided/Westlake High School

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Seven Westlake High School students will watch their writing performed live onstage during a Friday night show at the City Center in White Plains.

The first-of-its-kind premiere begins at 8 p.m. at the White Plains Performing Arts Center.

“Page to Stage: High School Edition” is patterned after WPPAC’s “Page to Stage” series where playwrights can see their works-in-progress and invite audience feedback. Eleven actors will bring the Westlake students’ literary works to life.

Creative writing teacher Janet Matthews said the works were selected based on their potential for dramatic presentation. The student writers are not told in advance which of their works will be performed.

Friday night's event is directed by Philip Cutrone, who is the artistic director for WPPAC’s “The Nak’d Stage” and has acted in many productions including “Death of a Salesman,” Mister Rogers,” “A Christmas Carol” and the regional premiere of “The Little Mermaid.”

Tickets are $5 and include a reception following the show. General admission tickets may be ordered by calling 914-328-1600. Tickets are available at the door or online at wppac.com.

There will be a reception following the performance with the students, who were in 10th and 11th grades when they work their pieces: Jenna Arkontaky, Michelle Barbero, Brian Bennett, Nicole Grossman, Jessica Kaplan, Julia O’Connell and Kiera Torpie.

A total of 26 pieces -- plays, poetry and short stories -- will be performed by a cast of 11, many of whom are professional actors: Matt Benincasa, Martha Benson, Will Pryor Bennett, Brianna Bowman, Darius Copland, Toni Fazio, Liz Paldino, Francesca Riscigliano, Isabel Sanchez, Andre Sguerra and Justin Thomas.

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