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Trolley Parts Play Key "Role" In Local Production

Torn Between, a play about the strictness of family tradition, family loyalty and young love by Philadelphia Young Playwright's Aimee Long comes to life as the main character journeys in life and in metaphor while aboard a SEPTA Trolley.

SEPTA played a special role in helping the production crew recreate a trolley on stage by providing different trolley equipment. The setting brought authenticity to the play. Although most theatrical productions use props which are specifically made for that purpose, by using real trolley parts the scene established a reality-like ambiance.

Philadelphia Young Playwrights is an intensive arts-education program that pairs a professional teaching artist with a classroom teacher. The two work together as an artistic team, guiding and supporting students in the process of writing a play. The program fosters student learning, exploring and succeeding.

"We believe every student has a voice worth hearing. "Young Playwrights focuses on improving students' writing, thinking and interactive skills enhancing students' sense of agency, responsibility and self-esteem reaching students of diverse backgrounds and abilities stimulating awareness of, and building new audiences for theatre with students, their families and communities," said Executive Producer Glenn Knapp.

SEPTA was able to assist students in their request for old or unused trolley parts through its "Retired Vehicle and Maintenance Inventory Control System." The inventory program allows for old vehicle parts and location signage which are no longer in use to be retired, placed into inventory storage and kept for its nostalgic purpose and special requests such as this one from the Philadelphia Young Playwrights.

SEPTA Maintenance Director Charlie Mitchell and Revenue Equipment Maintenance Manager Ken Kalczewski worked hand in hand with Philadelphia Playwright's and Barrymore Award-winning Scenic and Lighting Designer, Mark O'Maley and Gene Murphy traveled to SEPTA's Elmwood District to gather the goods. Mitchell was able to provide them a different array of trolley parts to capture the poignant location on stage.

"We are pleased to be able to support the efforts and creative talent of the Philadelphia Young Playwright students as they aspire to be future professional play writers. We were able to provide them with parts including trolley seats, out of service fare instruments such as a farebox and tranpass cutter," said Mitchell. The parts were on "loan" to the students until after the play's week-long showing.

Philadelphia Young Playwrights taps the potential of youth and inspires learning through playwriting and SEPTA was pleased to play a role in supporting this mission.

Philadelphia Young Playwrights Mark O'Maley at Elmwood District.

Gene Murphy and Mark O'Malley picking up trolley parts.

A makeshift trolley being recreated on stage.

Scene from "Torn Between" in action on staged trolley.

"Torn Bewteen" Play in motion.