What’s in a Name?

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“What’s in a name?”

By Ruby Sachs, Rising Star Project Communications Student

“What’s in a name?” A passionate group of high school students from all over Washington has been coming together to ask themselves that very question since mid-September, creating a series of six original ten-minute musicals based on Romeo and Juliet. This week, their months of hard work are finally starting to come to life with the beginning of auditions and the rehearsal process.

Nestled below Downtown Seattle in The 5th Avenue Theatre rehearsal space, magic is taking place. Music explodes from practice rooms where actors work on learning songs and preparing for the auditions that are taking place this week. Next door, the dedicated writers add the finishing touches to the scripts that they have poured their souls into for the past few months. The 5th Avenue Theatre is as vibrant and busy as the Seattle streets that are bustling just overhead.

Sitting down with Rising Star Project student directors Emilio Torres, Maddy Angelos, Gaby Lopez, and Z Maile, they shared their excitement for the upcoming shows.

RSP Student Emilio_600x600_1Emilio Torres:
The best part about this is that people who sign up for Rising Star Project are very passionate about theater and are the most talented people around. Live theater is so unique because, unlike film, it delivers an intimate experience that leaves the audience feeling like they just experienced something real.

RSP Student MaddyMaddy Angelos:
My goal for the Rising Star Project is that everybody is really proud of the work that is done. I have always wanted to experience what it is like to be a director, so getting that opportunity through the Rising Star Project has been amazing and very eye-opening.

RSP Student GabbyGabby Lopez:
What do I hope to get out of the Rising Star Project? Hmmmmm… I would say that… I hope to learn from and teach others. I want to learn different techniques for collaborating with people and help actors and writers get what’s on their mind onstage.

RSP Student Z Z Maile:
I think I would have to say that my goal for this season is to learn the process of directing and telling a good story. I feel very comfortable in leadership positions, so the responsibility that comes with being a director has been great for me.

The immense amount of dedication that each student at the Rising Star Project has for theater and creating collaborative art is truly special and shines through in the countless hours they have spent working on these shows, which showcase just how talented these students really are.


Rising Star Project: 10-Minute Musicals opens on March 3 at NextFest for an invited audience, and opens to the public at the following dates and locations:

March 8th: Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
7:00pm Performance

March 10th: Centilia Cultural Center (Centro de la Raza)
7:00pm Performance

March 11th: Kent Meridian High School
5:00pm Performance

*Please email risingstarproject@5thavenue.org for event details

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