Believe the HYPE

Mention the words "teen talent" and most people will groan as they imagine would-be Britneys and H-Duffs lined up to embarrass themselves on national television à la American Idol. Yet Oscar Wilde and Agatha Christie were teenagers once, and bearing that in mind, the Alley Theatre's Houston Young Playwrights Exchange (HYPE) program cultivates ingenues with theatrical impetuses and talent for writing drama.

This summer's six playwrights, ranging in age from 15 to 19, have written original plays dealing with weighty topics such as depression, self-esteem, alcoholism, grieving and media mind control. The rising stars stage public readings of their plays in groups throughout the weekend on the Alley's Neuhaus stage. Today's offerings include Jacob Penzell's The Demonstration Mouse, Carmen Brown's Remote and Camille Battle's Get Confident, Stupid!

Find out what the HYPE is all about at 2:30 p.m. HYPE staged readings also run August 4 and 5.
Fri., Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 5, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 6, 2:30 p.m.

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Mary Templeton