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Rob Corddry, Max Greenfield Among Actors Performing Skits by Grade School Screenwriters

Young Storytellers Foundation
Rob Corddry

The Young Storytellers Foundation's annual cold reading of student screenplays has become a must-hear Los Angeles event

Programs to encourage the creativity of public school students have become a popular cause in entertainment industry circles, but few have the track record or the appeal of the Young Storytellers Foundation, whose annual cold reading of student screenplays by professional actors has become a must-hear Los Angeles event.

Founded 20 years ago in response to cutbacks in urban schools’ arts education, the foundation brings film industry professionals free of charge into Los Angeles and New York schools, where their mentoring of aspiring writers not only taps the students’ creativity, but also encourages basic literacy. This year, foundation mentors provided instruction to 1,000 students, and 5,000 attended the annual readings of their classmates’ work, including Saturday’s event at the New Roads School’s Moss Theater in Santa Monica.

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The Sklar Brothers assumed this year’s hosting duties, while actors Rob Corddry, Max Greenfield, John Cho, Alison Brie, Jillian Bell, Craig Robinson, and Stephanie Beatriz performed the screenplays of four youngsters—Anush Badryan, Nino D'Angelo, Andre Sayabalian and Alexa Delgado.

"The looks on our students' faces as these incredible actors brought their stories to life was something that no one in the audience will soon forget," said the foundation’s executive director Bill Thompson.

Corddry, star of the Adult Swim comedy series Childrens Hospital, the annual reading “is kind of mythical in this world that I run in. You can't have a bad time. There's no pressure. You can't fail. It's pretty much everything you want as an actor. It's pretty much everything I've been looking for my whole life.”

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New Girl star Greenfield, a repeat participant, called the student authors “amazing, and the scripts are just hilarious. Diving in at such an early age and being able to really start something and finish the creative process is such a creative tool to have regardless of what you're doing later in life. To be nurtured the way these people nurture these children is really special.”

Badryan, a student at Cheremoya Avenue Elementary School in Hollywood and the author of : "Wedding Dress Disaster: Perfection Comes in All Sizes" described her script, this way: "If you think of a wedding dress, it's a major thing in a woman's life. You think about what could go wrong. The disaster ends up making everything perfect.” Naturally, she says she hopes to grow up to direct.

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