March 16, 2006

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Actor-director wants your ideas
Head of Amato Arts organizes playwriting fest for kids
By Robert Greene rgreene@hippopress.com

Got an idea?
Can you turn it into a one-act play, with a beginning, middle and end? Will it make sense, have consistent characters and include a problem or issue that the story attempts to resolve?

If you can do all that, and are still a student, Toby Tarnow wants to talk to you.

Tarnow is a professional actor and a theater teacher at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts in Milford. The arts center is part of that town’s Boys & Girls Club and Tarnow has made it her goal to make it a great one. To that end, she said, she’s organizing the center’s first one-act playwriting contest and festival.

“I’m hoping that it will be successful enough that we can hold it every year,” Tarnow said, “lifting the quality of production each year.”

Tarnow got the idea for the event from her students. The oldest of them is 14, but Tarnow said she is continually amazed by the quality of their work and the ideas they come up with for plays. Through the playwriting contest, Tarnow hopes to come up with three or four plays that she can put on in June, using talented teens and tweens as writers, actors, musicians and stagehands.

“Ideally there would be three one-act plays,” she said, “but if they are shorter there could be four.”

Tarnow is hoping to cull one comedy, one drama and one musical play out of the mix of entries. She’s leaving the contest entrance requirements vague. Her definition of a “student” writer ranges from kindergarten to community college. The deadline, however, is strict — by 5 p.m. March 31 she wants all entries submitted to her, via e-mail, to TobyTarnow@yahoo.com. She says to include your age, phone number and school name in the e-mail.

Three plays will be selected by a panel of theater professionals and produced on the main stage of the Amato Center June 8-11.

Who is Toby Tarnow?
Tarnow began studying acting at The Lorne Green Academy of Radio Arts in Canada at the age of 8 and, at 10, she became a professional actress in live radio drama and CBC radio Schools Broadcasts.

Tarnow performed in live dramas on television, starting when television first arrived in Canada in 1954. She was the first “Anne” in the musical version of Anne of Green Gables, which was written for and broadcast live on March 4, 1956, by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp .

Some highlights of Toby’s television career are: the princess on the Canadian Howdy Doody Show, a regular panelist on the Canadian To Tell the Truth, a regular on the children’s show, Mr Dressup, a continuing character on the NBC soap opera Moment of Truth, and a continuing role in the ABC miniseries Amerika. She also had her own children’s television show, Nursery School Time with Miss Toby and Hoppy.


03/16/2006 Actor-director wants your ideas
02/23/2006 Yellow Taxi's Theater Festival opens March 1
02/16/2006 Herding CATS
02/09/2006 An actors' studio
02/02/2006 A thing about love
01/26/2006 Spring theater season warming up
01/19/2006 Gearing up for the big night
01/12/2006 This Phantom is not a menace
01/05/2006 Jim Kelly, sci-fi writer and alternate historian
10th anniversary at Capitol Center
10 Ways To Survive The Audition
A Chorus Line
A Figaro Worth Cheering
A 'Living Newspaper' on stage
A tale of two wives
A Tribute To Music
Actorsingers Deliver On Superstar
Beauty and the Beast
Bedford Off-Broadway Gets Spooky
Being The Beatles, 1964 The Tribute
Bringing NYC to Wilton
Creating the venue from antiques
Crimes Of The Heart
Curtain to rise on Dana Center
Dana Center Takes Center Stage
Ensemble elevates Palace’s Godspell
From stage to the silver screen
Great play, too bad it’s over
Greater Tuna
Humble Boy
It’s cabaret, hear it sing, joke, tease
It's Child's Play
Jesus Christ Superstar
Kids Tackle Edgar Allan Poe
Local boy hits the big time, doesn’t lose his head
Lowell theater opens with a winner of a satire
Madco welcomes Boston actor-director
Meet John Sefel, Director
Meet Suzanne Delle, Yellow Taxi’s driver
Music Man to run three weekends
New Thalian Players
Palace announces 2005-06 season
Peterborough Players’ Solidarity is solid gold
Plaid
Plaid (II)
Playing with man’s best friend
Proud of the Peacock
Racy, crazy blast at the Palace
Reviving His Passion
Robert Dionne, The man behind the Majestic
Rosemary Dann
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know
Short-Attention Span Theater
Side Show
Sideshow slips sideways
Spending The Summer On Stage
Stages of learning
Steel Magnolias
Suessical: The Musical
Theater Of The Imagination
Theater Kids Without A School
Theater in the park draws big
The Drawer Boy
The Festival
The Five best shows of 2005
The Prisoner Of Second Avenue
The Russian/American Kids Circus
The Senator Wore Pantyhose
The Tony Awards, they're grrrrreat
The Warmth Of The Cold
Three nights, three shows at the Palace
Tosca

Under the Caribbean with the little mermaid

Wake up to ‘night Mother