The Big Read One-Act Plays

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

On Wednesday, April 29, 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, Old School by Tobias Wolff. Washington High School dramatics students will direct, perform, and manage the stage for four short plays.  Admission is free and open to all. No reservations are required.

Gwendolyn Kiste has written “Fall Waltz.” WHS students Alexus Fox and Noah Hersher will direct and Taylor Giltz will be the stage manager. Elena Markley, Karoline Smith, and Kate Joseph will perform.

Donora Hillard-Hare wrote “The Plagiarist,” which will be directed by Chase Porrini and Mike Santucci. Sabrina Zanin and Nicole Maxhimer will be the state managers. Brandon May will portray Hemingway, Stephen Sober will be Mr. X, and Katrina Levy will narrate.

Judith Christy, who also penned a play for The Big Read last year, has created “Just Desserts.” Madison Berner and Jeff Smith will be the directors, Rebekah Sorensen and Millena Spicer will be the stage managers. Performers will include: Mike Rutkowski as Hemingway; Stephen Sober, Miller; Emilie Ziegelhofer, Monroe; Lirissa Rangel, Rand; Quinn Piorkowski, Steinbeck; Anthony Jones, Frost; Justin Ollis, Poe; Tajj Crowder and Amy Culp, professors; and Emily Ball, Plath.

“A Latte to Learn” is George Nicholis’s script for the One-Act Plays. Iain Joseph and Ben Myers will direct, while Mark Mutigli and Clarissa Garnder will manage the stage. Brandon May, Anthony Jones, Alissa Breining, Morgan Crum, Mike Santucci, Chase Porrini, Amy Culp, Cori Harris, Leah Sorensen, and Taylor Giltz will perform. Mike Rutkowski will portray Hemingway, Dylan Philpott will portray Frost, and Quinn Piorkowski will be Shakespeare.

Eric J. Myers is the Washington High School drama advisor; Patricia Carmola is drama assistant.

As part of Massillon Public Library’s ongoing collaboration on The Big Read with the Massillon Museum, winners of the Library’s 2015 poetry contest will be offered the opportunity to read their poems as part of the evening of one-act plays.

The evening of One-Act Plays is among 30 events created for The Big Read in Western Stark County for 2015.  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 at  The Big Read 2015 marks the eighth year that the Massillon Museum has received this prestigious grant.  

Local organizations and individuals collaborating on The Big Read with the Massillon Museum include:  the Massillon Public Library; Stark Parks; Kent State University and Kent State University at Stark; Massillon/North Canton Elks #2029; Rotary Club of Massillon; the Massillon Area Chamber of Commerce; Washington High School Drama Department; the Stark County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau; and many community volunteers. 

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


Media Contacts:

Heather Haden  -  Massillon Museum Education and Community Outreach Coordinator  -  330-833-4061

Eric J. Myers  -  WHS Drama Advisor  -  330-832-5877

Margy Vogt  -  Massillon Museum Public Relations Coordinator  -  330-844-1525

Please contact Eric Myers for photographs or photo opportunities.

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