Press Releases

The Smith To Present Interactive Playwriting Event, Finger Lakes Photo/Plays


Media Contact: Ananda Brutvan, 607-339-9277, 

 GENEVA, NY The Smith Center for the Arts announces the return of the inventive theatrical experience, Finger Lakes Photo/Plays, on Saturday, February 4th and Sunday, February 5th, 2023. In addition, The Smith will also host Pop-up Pages: Playwriting Workshop on Wednesday January 25, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 


Finger Lakes Photo/Plays brings together dozens of local community members to write, rehearse, and perform a series of original plays, all inspired by the same photograph, and transformed into a performance in the space of a night and a day. This event celebrates the theatrical talent in our local community.  Gary Ventura is the 2023 Photo/Plays photographer.  


All (age 18+) are invited to participate as writers, actors, directors or stage managers; no experience (or talent!) is required! On Saturday February 4, 2023, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., participants will gather in the Smith Opera House for “The Reveal” of the photo that inspires the play’s subject matter.  Teams will be assembled randomly and there will be a tour of the rehearsal spaces. Participants will return to The Smith on Sunday February 5, at 9:00 a.m. for a full day of rehearsals, culminating in a public performance. The performance is free and open to the public. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday February 5 and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Donations to the Smith Center for the Arts will be accepted. 


New this year, ahead of Photo/Plays, is Pop-Up Pages: Playwriting Workshop. This FREE workshop will be held on Wednesday January 25, 2023, from 7:00 until 9:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Smith Opera House (82 Seneca St., Geneva, NY). You do not need to participate in Photo/Plays to join this workshop. Chris Woodworth (Finger Lakes Photo/Plays Creator and Producer) will lead participants through a series of low-stakes writing exercises. No playwriting or theatre experience necessary. Bring a notebook, pen, and your imagination.


“Photo/Plays feels like summer camp–in the winter! We are reunited with old friends and get a chance to make many new friends, all with the common goal of creating performances from scratch. Time seems to both stop and speed up as we work together in collaborative mayhem!” says Woodworth of the event. To register for the playwriting workshop, visit the Smith’s website, here


To participate in Finger Lakes Photo/Plays, you may also visit the Smith’s website, here and complete the online registration by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday February 1. There is no cost to participate in Finger Lakes Photo/Plays or Pop-Up Pages. 


Participants must register in advance and will rank their preferences for the following roles: 


  •   The Playwright—These folks will receive a copy of the photograph on Saturday evening and spend the night crafting a short play (ten minutes or less), tailored to the actors in their group and inspired by the photo.
  •   The Director—Early Sunday morning the Playwright submits their script to their director who spends the early morning figuring out their directorial concept for the play. Then, the rehearsal begins.
  •   The Actors—Actors get that script Sunday morning and spend the day bringing the text to life. No memorization necessary! 
  •   The Stage Managers—Organized and patient, stage managers help directors track down simple props and costume pieces and help with cues and scene changes. 


Please note: Given the possibility of strong language and adult situations, participation is limited to those 18 and older. For more information, email Finger Lakes Photo/Plays Creator and Producer, Chris Woodworth at

The Smith Center for the Arts, stewards of the historic Smith Opera House, provides diverse arts and educational enrichment opportunities year-round for Finger Lakes residents and visitors. To learn more about events offered by The Smith Center for the Arts, visit, or visit or call our box office for phone and in-person sales, 10am-4pm, Tuesday-Friday. The Smith Opera House is at 82 Seneca St. in Geneva, NY. Please email or call (315) 781-5483.