2nd year MFA playwrights Merri Biechler and Laura Jacqmin have been awarded Ohio University SEA grants in the amount of $6,000 each to support the research and writing of their thesis plays in their third year. In addition, Merri Biechler has also been awarded OU’s Trisolini Fellowship in the amount of $13,000 for her third year of school. (Last year, current third year MFA Mark Witteveen was also awarded the SEA and Trisolini money; in the past two years, OU MFA playwrights have applied for and received over $45,000 in grant money to support the research and writing of their plays.)
MY ITALY STORY, a play written by Joseph Gallo (first-year MFA playwright) will be opening in four days at the theatre “12 Miles West” in Bloomfield, New Jersey, on their 200-seat equity stage.
Web site: http://www.12mileswest.org
2nd year MFA Laura Jacqmin’s HAPPYSLAP recently received a reading at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, and will be presented as a staged reading in the 2006 Kitchen Dog Theater’s New Works Festival.
2nd-year MFA playwright Laura Jacqmin’s short play POOL OF and 2005 Alum Aaron Carter’s KEGGER will be produced in Collaboraction’s Sketchbook 6 Festival this August in Chicago at the Chopin Theatre.
2nd year MFA playwright Merri Biechler has been awarded OU’s Graduate Associate Outstanding Teaching Award. Merri was in competition with GA’s from across the university, and the award is given only to the top four GA lecturers based on both undergraduate student reviews of teaching style/ability as well as an interview process conducted by a student committee.
Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks conducted a seminar for MFA playwrightstoday. Ms Parks discussed her writing philosophy and her career as a playwright.
From MFA director Michael Page, concerning alum Melissa Gawlowski:
“I just wanted to write and let the folks in Athens know that Melissa Gawlowski (MFA Playwriting ’05) and I got the green light to do a staged reading of her play THE CRITIC Off-Broadway. It will feature the talents of OU alumni Nick Stofocik and Tom Myers as well as Ashley McHugh and Joe Calloway of Broadway’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels… The information is below – the power of the OU SOT connection.” THE CRITIC,by Melissa Gawlowski, Directed by Michael Page. Thursday, March 9, 2006, 7:00 PM, Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex, Dorthey Streslin Theatre, 312 West 36th Street, 6th Floor, New York, New York 10018 (Editor’s Note: Melissa’s play, The Critic, was her 2nd year MFA Festival play.)
“In the fall of 2006, Aaron’s play Panther Burn will be produced in Chicago by MPAACT in association with Prop Theatre. The play will be directed by Andrea Dymond, Literary Manager and Resident Director of Victory Gardens. In “Panther Burn”, a group of militant black activists kidnap outstanding members of the African-American community. The aim of the activists is to draw attention to those whom the successes of the civil rights movement has left behind. As the kidnapping drags on, lines between captive and captor blur and everyone must take a stand between idealism and the seductive effectiveness of violence.”
From MFA playwriting alum Qui Nguyen: TRIAL BY WATER, by Qui Nguyen, playing March 12 – April 9, 2006 at The Culture Project, 45 Bleeker Street, NYC. Directed by John Gould Rubin, and featuring Arthur Acuna, Genevieve DeVeyra, Dinh Doan, Jojo Gonzalez, Karen Tsen Lee, Timothy McCown Reynolds, and Jessica Chanly Smith. “Trial By Water is the unforgettable story of the redemption of two teenage brothers forced to flee Vietnam by boat in the middle of the night. When the ship’s engine breaks down, their dreams of a better life are shattered by the nightmare of being stranded at sea. With hope fading, each brother must confront his own morality when faced with unthinkable acts of survival. Upending the traditional narratives of the Boat People, the play eschews stereotypes for a gritty, nuanced, and honest portrayal of the many compromises immigrants must go through to search for permanent moorings. “
From Chantal Bilodeau, MFA Playwriting alum (2002): There’s a reading of my new play PLEASURE & PAIN at the Lark Theatre in New York on February 16th at 7pm. For reservations, location, etc., go to http://www.larktheatre.org.