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.
The six finalists for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Region III 10-minute play competition have been announced: Four out of the six finalists invited to the KC/ACTF region III festival to be held this coming January were written by OU School of Theatre MFA playwrights. Merri Biechler, Laura Jacqmin (Jacqmin with two plays in the top six) and Mark Witteveen will all be competing at Illinois State for the top three regional prizes in this category.
2nd year playwright Merri Biechler’s The Bathtub Play has been given a staged reading at Playwrights Playground in New York.
3rd year playwright Christopher De Paola has been cast in the Mid-west premiere of the Nilo Cruz play Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams.