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State Honoree

Benjamin Geisinger

Massachusetts

was for four consecutive years the producer, director and playwright of a youth drama group that provides opportunities for young people to participate in and experience live theater. Ben, who has had an interest in drama for half his young life, decided to create the Kenilworth Players in 1996 because his school did not have a drama program. “I wanted to expand my experience and knowledge about drama,” said Ben, who selects the productions, writes, revises and edits scripts, designs scenery, and handles the group’s schedule. Ben spends countless hours during the school year preparing the productions before he begins casting, with the final production being staged in the summer. “For many of the young children that came to one of my productions, it was the first play they had ever seen,” said Ben, who believes drama should be a required part of every child’s education. “Drama helps you develop your public speaking skills, your memory, your writing skills, and lets a child’s artistic self shine through.” The $500 collected from the Kenilworth Players’ last three productions has been donated to Ben’s elementary and middle school to provide, among many other things, local theater tickets for students who can’t afford to attend performances.