The Big Read Night of One-Acts to Star Local Thespians

On Wednesday, April 20, at 7:00 p.m., the Struts and Frets Drama Club of Washington High School (WHS), in cooperation with the Massillon Museum, will present an evening of original one-act plays relating to The Big Read and this year’s book selection, In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Washington High School drama students will direct, perform, and manage the stage for four short plays.  Admission is free and open to all. No reservations are required.

Brayden Frascone wrote “Praise Be His Name,” which will be directed by Michael Rutkowski and Katrina Levy. Dylan Philpott, Stephen Sober, and Lirissa Rangel will portray the three characters. Frascone directed and played in the one-acts as a high school student; this is his second year as a Big Read playwright.

Gwendolyn Kiste, also a returning author, has written “Monarch.” WHS students Justin Ollis and Crystal Constable will direct and Leah Sorensen, Brittany Friedrich, and Elena Markley will perform.

Judi Christy,who also penned plays for The Big Read in previous years, has created “Crushed.” Anthony Jones, Lakendra Grabill, and Joseph McCullough will be the directors.  Actors will include Peter Leitner, Emma Stine, Nicole Maxhimer, Sarah Howe, Alissa Breining, Lindsay Mays, Nathan Santucci, Quinn Piorkowski, Matthew Hersher, Tajj Crowder, Alex Evanoff, Nathaniel Teall, Michaela Smith, and Mikayla Warner.

“Caged” is Tyler J.C. Whidden’s script for the one-act plays. Whidden is new to the Massillon Museum’s Big Read program this year.  Rebekah Sorensen and Sabrina Zanin will direct. Kate Joseph, Karoline Smith, Elena Markley, and Taylor Giltz will perform.

Eric J. Myers is the Washington High School drama advisor.

As part of Massillon Public Library’s ongoing collaboration on The Big Read with the Massillon Museum, winners of the Library’s 2016 poetry contest will be offered the opportunity to read their poems as part of the evening of one-act plays.

"Taking Flight with Butterflies: One-Act Plays" is among 40 public events created for The Big Read in Western Stark County for 2016.  The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.  The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest.  The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.  Learn more  The Big Read 2016 marks the ninth year that the Massillon Museum has received this prestigious grant and orchestrated the one-act plays.  

Support for the local program is also provided by The Women’s Fund Endowment of the Stark Community Foundation, Massillon/North Canton Elks #2029, and Rotary Club of Massillon. The Massillon Museum receives operating support from the Ohio Arts Council and ArtsinStark to supplement its primary local funding. 

Washington High School is located at One Paul E. Brown Boulevard, S.E. in Massillon.  For more information about The Big Read in Western Stark County, the one-act plays, or related events, call the Massillon Museum at 330-833-4061 or visit


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