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Staged Reading Planned Of Original Play By NHS Valedictorian

Published: July 9, 2018

WESTON — New Paradigm Theatre Company scheduled a staged reading of 27 Days, an original play written by Newtown High School Class of 2018 valedictorian Talia Hankin. The special event will take place Sunday, July 15, at 5 pm, at Emmanuel Church, 285 Lyons Plain Road in Weston.

Doors are set to open at 4:45 pm. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.

The New Paradigm Theatre Company is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that fosters creative problem solvers, leaders, and global citizens through theater arts education and productions.

Talia is a New Paradigm Theatre youth board member. She plans to attend Columbia University in the fall to study drama and theater arts as well as film and media studies.

27 Days centers around an undocumented husband and father of two young daughters. He suddenly discovers that he is being deported in 27 days. The play explores the pitfalls of the immigration and deportation systems and how those systems affect both immigrants and US citizens. It also asks the question: What would a person do if they had 27 days to leave their home, the life they built, their family, friends, and community?

The presentation of the play is one of New Paradigm Theatre’s attempts to feature talented youth as well as to create theater productions with a social conscience.

New Paradigm Theatre Artistic Director Kristin Huffman said the theater’s board “voted unanimously to produce this well-written staged reading.” Actors will have the script in hand during the reading.

“We paired Talia with one of our industry and playwright pros, Scott Bryce, as a mentor,” Ms Huffman added.

The playwright said Mr Bryce has been “an incredible mentor.”

“His advice about playwriting and storytelling has prompted me to approach the craft in a new way,” Talia said. “And his feedback throughout the revision process has challenged me to delve deeper into the complexities of relationships, hardship, and the moral and ethical belief systems that are explored in 27 Days.”

Talia was reportedly inspired to write 27 Days after seeing news reports and hearing immigrants’ stories. She interviewed a nonprofit immigration lawyer in order to get an authentic perspective on what many immigrants are forced to endure.

“I wanted to write about an issue that is meaningful, relevant, and can spark conversation about current societal perceptions and attitudes. It is told through the eyes of the immigrant himself,” Talia said.

Christian Cardozo will play the leading role of Andres. The production will also feature Krista Adams Santilli, Barbara Distinti, Mark Holleran, and Kristin Huffman as well as many New Paradigm Theatre youth.

For more information about New Paradigm Theatre see its website,, or e-mail

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