by Dr. Steve Feffer
Three Western Michigan University Department of English playwrights are national finalists for having their plays awarded and presented in Washington, D.C. as part of the John F. Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival’s National Playwriting Program Awards.
The Kennedy Center American College Festival is a national theatre program that gives college playwrights the chance to present their work professionally, and to showcase the excellent work done in American colleges and universities.
This marks the fourth year in a row that WMU has had at least five playwrights out of 12 selected for consideration of presenting their plays at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s National Playwriting Program.
Two of the three finalists were honored for their ten-minute plays; Micaelaya Moses (MFA) and Adam Pasen (Ph.D.), authors of “Tailypo” and “Star*ucker,” respectively; and Jason Lenz (MFA ’11) for his one-act play, “Cherries and Cream.”
The KCACTF National Playwriting Program serves as an extremely valuable part of the development of these playwrights. This is not only because of the recognition that such an award brings to them, but because they are able to learn from some of the finest playwrights in the field, as well as the best of their fellow playwriting students from the around the region and country.
WMU has had playwrights selected for Washington, D.C. the last three years, including current Ph.D. student G. William Zorn, who won the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain National Award for Comic Playwriting in 2010, and Mikala Hansen (MFA ’11) who won the Kennedy Center’s National Award for Playwriting given by the National Association for the Partners of American Theatre. In 2009, K. Frithjof Peterson (MFA ’09) was a national runner-up in the 10-minute play award and had his work presented in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Steve Feffer is a playwright and associate professor of English. Currently, he
serves as the Chair for the KCACTF National Playwriting Program for the Great Lakes region.