Teenagers perform in “Oneirononauts,” a short play, during the Berkeley Repertory Theater’s Teen One-Acts Festival. Credit: Kristen Pribula

The Berkeley Repertory’s School of Theatre is holding a one-night festival this weekend featuring mini-plays written and performed by students from five Bay Area high schools.

Over two months, students worked with professional teaching artists to develop, write and perform the mini-plays using a method called devised theater. Through improvisation and collaboration, the students created plays around topics that reflect their school communities and the issues they care about.

High School Theatre Festival, Berkeley Rep’s Peet’s Theatre, Sunday, March 12, 7 p.m.

The festival will take place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, at Berkeley Rep’s Peet’s Theatre. It’s the successor to the Rep’s Teen One-Acts Festival, which allowed students to compete in front of a live audience for best original short play.

One play being performed Sunday tackles issues of immigration in an airport. Another explores the relationship between teenagers and their parents. Students from Berkeley High devised a play about the challenges students face, including segregation, racism and fitting in, which they plan to turn into a full-length play by the end of the year.

The intention of the festival is to “uplift the student voice in an authentic way that centers their story, and centers their narrative,” said Anthony Jackson, Director of Berkeley Rep’s School of Theatre. “This opportunity allows us to deepen our relationships with our partner schools and give platform to the voices of students as they share the issues and questions they are grappling with.”

One-hundred-and-twenty-five students from Berkeley High School, Contra Costa School for the Performing Arts, Head-Royce School, Mt. Eden High School, and Oakland School for the Arts participated in the productions.

The festival aims to expand exposure to theater for students “who may not necessarily have any theatrical training but are interested in telling stories and are interested in learning some theater skills,” Jackson said.

The School of Theater at Berkeley Rep aims to expand the festival beyond the five pilot schools and open it up to as many students as possible in coming years.

Tickets for the festival are free, but RSVPs are required. To RSVP, visit visit the Berkeley Rep website.

Ally Markovich, who covers the school beat for Berkeleyside, is a former high school English teacher. Her work has appeared in The Oaklandside, The New York Times, Huffington Post and Washington Post,...