Adults offer interpretations of plays written by kids during a Muse of Fire Project performance. (Photo: Contributed)

A group of young local playwrights will have their works performed by adults at The McCallie School this weekend.

The Muse of Fire Project features “outside-the-box” stories written by students participating in an intensive playwriting course. This weekend, eight students ages 10–12 will watch as trained actors bring their visions to life.

Three performances are scheduled: Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 3 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person.


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The shows will be at the school’s Walker Theater, located at 500 Dodds Ave.

Each play will last about 10 minutes. The playwrights will observe the show from the stage.

According to a news release, attendees can expect a variety of absurd short plays. One story tells the tale of a whale and her best friend: a pair of glasses. Another story features an owl and his friends as a devastating storm approaches. Guests will also witness a “video game-like experience” of a boy, his hybrid cheetah/eagle and their fight against something called the “soul-eater.”

The Muse of Fire Project has been a staple of Chattanooga for seven years. Students are required to meet twice per week for two hours to learn about playwriting fundamentals, play theater games and write a full play. Following those sessions, local actors, directors and prop makers transform the scripts into actual productions. The results are hilarious, poignant and educational.

More than 100 children from Chattanooga have participated in the program, which continues to grow.

The Muse of Fire format is based on a similar program called the 52nd Street Project in New York City. Started in 1981, the 52nd Street Project is now a substantial nonprofit that produces shows written by young playwrights.