"Censored and Other One-Acts" coming to the Children's Theatre

Kate Marinkovich, Author

Local teens will perform “Censored and Other One-Acts,” a new set of six comedic one-act plays at the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre.

Betsy Franco, who has written multiple plays for the Children’s Theatre including “Metamorphosis: Junior Year” in 2010, has been writing the One-Acts with the assistance of members of the Children’s Theatre Teen Arts Council since November.

“The teens who have been working with me — for five months in all now — have brainstormed, edited, enriched and honed the one-acts,” Franco said. “Their input has been absolutely invaluable; I mean, what better consultants could I have for comedies about teens?”

Franco focused on making sure the pieces created a raw comedic feel. Any ideas the teens brought to her were included; nothing was censored, according to Franco.

“In ‘Censored and Other One-Acts,’ the teens and I let our imaginations run wherever they wanted,” Franco said. “I require authentic voices in my work, so censoring makes no sense. In fact, I lose interest if the raw edges have been shaved off.”

Paly senior Leah Victoria Bleich served as the student director of the project. As an integral part of the show, she compliments Franco’s ability to successfully edit scenes to meet the most realistic standard.

“The one acts [Betsy] creates are a fantastic combination of the realities of teen life, as brought in by the teens involved, and Betsy’s own playwriting skills,” Bleich said.

The plays are comedic and span a variety of topics, from young and dramatic love to group therapy. An example is a skit of two high schoolers who meet in a library and flirt with each other intellectually, however they end up admitting that they are not as smart as they had pretended to be.

“I thought the most effective pieces were the ones in which the teens played characters close to their own ages,” Franco said. “So, I decided right then and there to write a collection of one act comedies that had mainly teen actors.”

The Children’s Theatre recommends that audience members be at least 13 years old due to language and content.

The shows will be on April 25th and 26th and at 7:30 p.m. at the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre. Admission is $7.