A 13-year-old Short Hills resident is the youngest member performing in 18th Annual Jersey Voices Festival this weekend at The Chatham Playhouse at 23 North Passaic Ave.
The Millburn Middle School student, Maude Weiss, will perform in "Children of September" Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. The festival opened last weekend with two performances on July 27 and 28.
"It's almost emotionally draining because it's really intense," Weiss said about her role. In the 15-minute piece, she plays a girl who lost her father. Struggling with his death, she sees his ghost making her question her sanity.
"Children of September" was written by Eric Alter and directed by Frank Briamonte of Scotch Plains. The play also features Liz Royce of Cedar Grove and Brett Levine of Summit.
"It took awhile to get into the character," Weiss said. "It required a certain mindset but other actress, who is my therapist in the play, really helped me out."
This year’s production will include six original short plays written by New Jersey playwrights, which were picked from hundreds of submissions to represent a small slice of New Jersey's talented writers and performers.
Weiss said she's been acting since second grade. She was performing in the Variety Show at her school every year and was picked up by an agent. After acting heavily for a few years she took a break because she was missing too much school, she said.
As she enters eighth grade, this will be her first performance since her break to concentrate on school. She said she is also audition for "The Crucible" in Maplewood next week.
Jersey Voices has provided a venue for New Jersey playwrights to showcase their work since 1995.
Organizers say the plays this year provide a variety entertainment that tackles almost every facet of human emotion. From the witty repartee in 'The Buffer' by Mike Allegra to the heart wrenching monologue in 'Ping' written by Mary Jane Walsh.
The Chatham Community Players have performed hundreds of productions in Morris County since 1922.