The Bloomington Playwrights Project's School of Dramatic Arts is holding its first showcase this weekend, featuring plays written and performed by students in the School's classes.\nThe BPP established SODA last fall to give Bloomington residents of all ages a chance to develop their dramatic writing, acting and production skills in a friendly environment. Students as young as 7 and as old as 60 enrolled in a wide range of classes that included Introduction to Playwriting, Directing and Cabaret Class. After the success of the fall classes, a second round was held this spring, and the hard work of the students in those courses have resulted in the plays shown in this weekend's showcase.\n"The kids are especially excited to perform," said Candy Decker, Company Manager of the BPP and also a SODA instructor. "Some of these kids have never been on stage before, and they're thrilled."\nAnd the kids aren't just performing. One of the plays, "The Star Friends," was written by 7-year-old Miranda Stinson. Other plays are written and performed by junior high and high school students, as well as adults.\nThe showcase performs another important function beyond displaying the students' work. All ticket proceeds go toward the school's scholarship fund. A grant from the Bloomington Community Foundation helped give 12 students full scholarships to the spring session, and the proceeds from the showcase should help establish an independent fund that will allow the scholarships to continue.\n"Making the arts available to children and adults at all financial levels is a dream come true," said SODA Director Joy Chaitin in a press release. "Our mission as a school is to reach out to the community and educate them about the theatre arts. This scholarship program helps us do that."\nThe Bloomington Playwrights Project's School of Dramatic Arts inaugural student showcase will be held at 7 p.m. Friday and again at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday. A reception will follow the 7 p.m. performance Saturday. Tickets are $5 and all proceeds go to the SODA scholarship fund. For more information, or to reserve tickets, call 334-1188.
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