“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.
2nd year MFA playwright Laura Jacqmin has been invited to participate in the University Playwrights Workshop at Stanford University this coming summer, to workshop her new play BUTT NEKKID. More info on the new Stanford program from their web site: “Stanford University and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival are pleased to announce the launching of the University Playwrights Workshop. This new program is designed to provide graduate students in playwriting with the opportunity to experience first hand the development process on a new play with professionals… Twelve playwrights will be selected from prestigious programs and brought together for two weeks during which they will develop one of their plays with a team of well-known regional theatre directors, accomplished dramaturgs, and highly skilled professional actors, culminating in a staged reading.” (http://www.stanford.edu/group/newplays)
A revival of first year MFA Joseph Gallo’s Off-Broadway play – MY ITALY STORY – will be produced at 12 Miles West in Bloomfield, New Jersey, on their 200-seat equity stage in May 2006.
3rd year MFA playwright Christopher De Paola’s festival play from last year, Watchdog, has been selected for production at Otterbein College this coming spring.
From an Ohio University press release: “The Joyce Foundation has awarded a $50,000 Joyce Award grant to the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) to support the commission of a new play by Ohio University Professor of Playwriting Charles Smith… Smith’s play will tell the story of the infamous 1930 lynching in Marion, Indiana. It will focus on the personal stories of James Cameron, the only survivor of the lynching and the two African-American teenagers who were lynched, Abraham Smith and Thomas Shipp. The three teenagers had been accused of shooting a young white man and shooting and raping his fiancée. The two men that were killed were dragged out of their jail cells by an angry mob, beaten and hanged.”
MFA program members Laura Jacqmin, Merri Biechler, and Mark Witteveen swept 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Region III 10-minute play competition. Their plays were given staged readings at the festival held on the campus of Illinois State University in Bloomington, Illinois. A clean sweep of the top three spots over submissions from five states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
Laura Jacqmin’s short play Dawg will be produced at the Around the Coyote Winter Arts Festival in Chicago this February.
Playwriting faculty member Erik Ramsey’s textbook Experiencing The Art of Theatre: A Concise Introduction came off the presses today (Thomson/Wadsworth, 2006). His second textbook, The Art of Theatre: Then and Now will be published next month.