News Release:  The NEA Big Read Night of One-Acts to Star Local Thespians

On Wednesday, April 20, at 7:00 p.m., the Washington High School (WHS) Struts and Frets drama program, in cooperation with the Massillon Museum, will present an evening of original one-act plays relating to the NEA Big Read and this year’s book selection, An American Sunrise by Muscogee author Joy Harjo, US Poet Laureate. WHS dramatics students will direct, perform, and manage the stage for three short plays.

Presented in the WHS auditorium, admission to the One-Acts is free and open to all. No reservations are required.

Struts and Frets students wrote The Show Won’t Go On, which is directed by Grace Erichsen. Performers are Kaelyn Pribich, Kyle Popovich, Alliah Evans, Addison Forero, Kira Baldwin, Cale Bishop, Mary Hersher, and Liberty Erichsen.

Returning playwright John Kiste wrote Fifth Month, Fifth Day, 2099, which is directed by Andy Kennen. Mary Hersher is the narrator and Isaiah McCullough and Alliah Evans are the performers.

Brayden Frascone, who has penned plays for and performed in NEA Big Read plays, has created Manifest Destiny. Lauren Neel will direct, while Liberty Erichsen, Kyle Popovich, Basil White, and Cale Bishop perform.

Monica Erichsen is the Washington High School drama advisor.

The evening of One-Act Plays is among 30 public events created for the NEA Big Read in Western Stark County for 2022.  A bookmark listing all events is included in each free copy of An American Sunrise, which can be obtained at the Massillon Museum, the Massillon Public Library, and other distribution sites while supply lasts.

The NEA Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with Arts Midwest designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment. Learn more at The NEA Big Read 2022 marks the 15th year that the Massillon Museum has received this prestigious grant and orchestrated the One-Act Plays.

The Massillon Museum receives operating support from the Ohio Arts Council and ArtsinStark and marketing support from Visit Canton to supplement its primary local funding. In addition to NEA funding, MassMu receives support from One Tiger and Rotary Club of Massillon for the NEA Big Read and the Little Read.

Washington High School is located at One Paul E. Brown Boulevard, S.E. in Massillon.  For more information about the NEA Big Read, the One-Act Plays, or related events, call the Massillon Museum at 330-833-4061 or visit


Media Contacts:
Alexandra Nicholis Coon  –  MassMu Executive Director  –  330-833-4061 x111
Stephanie Toole  –  MassMu Education and Outreach Manager/Big Read Coordinator  –  330-833-4061 x104
Margy Vogt  –  MassMu Public Relations Coordinator  –  330-844-1525


Please contact Monica Erichsen at WHS for photographs or photo opportunities.

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