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Sarasota Thursday, May 21, 2009 11 years ago

Best friends combine their creative talents

by: Loren Mayo Black Tie Editor

In just three days, two Out-of-Door Academy fifth-graders came up with an entire screenplay about four animals — a rooster, hamster, dog and pig — that wanted to become rappers.

Katie Messeroff and Sydney Avery won the 2009 Young Playwrights Festival and WRITE A PLAY competition, an in-school arts initiative that inspires young students to be creative. Florida Studio Theatre has held the competition for the past 17 years.

Their play, “Road to Rap,” was chosen from 5,400 plays submitted by playwrights throughout the United States, Israel, Russia, Scotland and China. Several actors from FST performed it live Wednesday, May 13, at ODA’s Siesta Key campus, rapping, clapping and dancing and getting laughs out of everyone present.

Q&A with the playwrights

How did you come up with the idea for “Road to Rap”?

Messeroff: We put our ideas together. But, really, Maxie is my Bichon, and Cuddles is my hamster. I love animals.
Avery: I wanted to include a pig and a rooster, and I like rap.

Do you have a favorite rapper?
Avery: No, I just like it. I listen to everything.

How did you go about writing it?
Messeroff: We wrote and typed equally. It took three days. We both made up characters. I wrote one page and Sydney wrote the next.

Why did you write this play?
Avery: Our teacher, Mrs. (Martha) Gulacsy, assigned it as a project for our English class and sent the plays to Florida Studio Theatre.

Have either of you ever written rap song lyrics before?
Avery: No, we just made it up. All the actors made the sounds, like dogs barking.
Messeroff: We looked for rhymes. The first was “Rappy yappie yo, this is our show.” We got help from friends.

Do you want to be writers when you grow up?
Messeroff: When I’m old I’m going to be an artist or something with animals. I have a section in my closet for my dog — 28 outfits. We just held a birthday party for my dog, actually, with presents and cake.
Avery: I have a cocker-spaniel mix named Bailey.


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