Angels with Broken Wings

Media Unit tours city parks with show on teen violence

The Media Unit, Syracuse's national award winning teen performance and production troupe, tours city parks with the fourth edition of its Angels with Broken Wings series on teen violence. Combining drama, dance, music and comedy, the series provides a local "West Side Story" for the 21st Century, this summer focusing on two young teens trying to make friends in the face of opposition from the different turf crews they belong to.

Angels with Broken Wings: Starting All Over Again features Media Unit veterans Tamara Reese, who will be rapping at the Elks Club in Elmira Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in August, and Joseph Corallo, who won two drama awards at last spring's Harms Festival and was one of 12 applicants chosen for the SUNY Fredonia dance program this fall. The performance introduces Alana Eure and Hannah Zehner as the two friends, Zashalise Moore as a turf crew chief and Melanie Zehner as the neighborhood busy body.

Inspired by NAACP past president Donna Reese, the series is staged in collaboration with the Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs and CNY Works. The Media Unit has provided Central New York teens with hands-on training in performance and production for television and stage since 1976. Over that time, almost 80 percents of Media Unit alums have achieved careers in those fields.

The Unit's production crew, Sarah Orr, George Stroman and Alex Hubbard will be videotaping the summer tour for an hour-long documentary to be aired this fall. Since 1979, Media Unit teens have produced Rough Times Live, a weekly television program now aired on cable public access channels in Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Ithaca and New York City.

On Aug, 8 and 9 at 2 p.m. the Unit will host the 10th annual at the BeVard Teen Theater Performance Festival at the Mulroy Civic Center, with guest performances from Groupe Artistique et Culturel Ong Droits Egaux-Chances Egales from Benin, West Africa and the Positive Youth Troupe from New York City. On Aug. 28, the Unit will present Second Hand Smoke, a live Clue game in the New Times Theater at the New York State Fair at 11 a.m. and 1, 4 and 7 p.m.

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