The 52nd Street Project presents Let Me Put It This Way: The Straight Talk Plays.
To create the plays, kids (ages 9-11) from the Hell's Kitchen (Clinton) neighborhood are collaborating with accomplished professionals including Uzo Aduba, Tim Cain, John Ellison Conlee, Zenzele Cooper, Peter Dinklage, Tom Riis Farrell, Kevin Geer, Sevan Greene, Jessica Hecht, Kathy Hiler, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Sue Jean Kim, Keira Naughton, Armando Riesco, Diana Rojas, Sharon Washington, Joe White and James Yaegashi.
The plays are directed by Jonathan Bernstein, Maria Goyanes, Leslie Kramer, Davis McCallum, Rick Meese, John Sheehy, Felix Solis, Sarah Cameron Sunde, Maureen Towey and Nicole Watson. To help write the music for many of these one-acts, The Project has elicited the assistance of the composer Patrick Barnes.
The 52nd Street Project (The Project) was founded in 1981 by actor/playwright and 1994 MacArthur Fellow Willie Reale in response to a deepening need to improve the quality of life for New York's inner-city children. Reale, an actor, playwright, and company member of the Ensemble Studio Theater (EST), used his company privileges to reach out to the children of the neighborhood by creating theatrical endeavors specifically for them. This was done with the cooperation and support of EST and its across-the-street-neighbor, the Police Athletic League's Duncan Center. The Project is now an independent not-for-profit organization that creates over eighty new plays and serves over 125 children every year.