As we begin the 27th Annual Seabury Quinn, Jr. Playwrights’ Festival, we’ll be giving the spotlight to our third-year MFA playwrights. Third-year writers graduate soon after their thesis productions headline the festival.
by Steven Strafford
John Hendel’s play, Be Head is one of our two featured productions this year.
John Hendel is a mensch. For people who don’t know Yiddish, a mensch is a person of integrity and honor. John Hendel not only wants his play to be great, he really wants your play to be great. He is, at his very nature, a helper. Add to that, his ability to consistently turn out off-beat, humorous, sometimes unsettling pieces that always challenge the intellect, and you’ve got an amazing member of the playwriting program. You’ve got John Hendel.
If that wasn’t enough, this year John has been lead producer of PlayFest. He has shepherded the playwrights through a brand new online format. He has solved problems on the fly, and while putting out fires and building an impactful event for the playwrights and all involved, he has created a wonderful play for you all to enjoy. He is the embodiment of what this program strives to be: a community of playwrights who come together to buoy each other up while discovering an executing our own voice in theatrical writing. John will be missed.
John Hendel is a playwright most recently from Los Angeles. His plays include Pulling Off Procreation (Or Is It Wrong to Keep Fucking if the Baby Starts Crying?) (2013 Cincinnati Fringe Festival, winner: Founders’ Pick of the Fringe), Wearhorse (2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival), Fame Confusions and The Greatest Play Ever (If You Don’t Think So, You’re a Basket of Farts) (NY Artists Unlimited International Cringe Fest, 2009 and 2010, respectively). He has twice been a PlayLab writer at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, AK. His work online includes his 64 Plays in 64 Days project, as well as writing about movies and television. He received his Playwriting BFA from Ohio University.
Hear ye, hear ye, and huzzah! The king has been executed! Allegra, a peasant, has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the new Revolutionary Council. All she must do is eradicate the monarchial spirit by destroying the king’s head. But Allegra’s ambitions and desire to be heard make sharing power difficult, especially with the daffy elites who lopped the king’s head off. Through dreams, necromancy, and the occasional iambic pentameter, BE HEAD explores whether any old time is the right time for revolution.