WMU News

For aspiring playwrights 'The Play's the Thing'

April 19, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Two reader's theatre presentations in Sprau Tower, April 22 and 24, and a performance in York Arena Theatre, April 25, mark the end of the winter semester for playwrights in the Department of English.

Under the general title of "The Play's the Thing," plays and scenes written by students will be presented from 5 to 7 p.m. April 22 and 24, on the 10th floor of Sprau Tower. Students from guest instructor Suprotik Stotz-Ghosh's introductory playwriting class will be featured on Monday, April 22. The lineup includes To Getting Away by Mark Jaynes, Plastic Grass by Josh Little, Faithless by Samantha Roslund, and an untitled piece by Staci Schmock.

The second presentation of "The Play's the Thing," is Wednesday, April 24, and will highlight scenes and short plays from the advanced playwriting course, taught this semester by Arnie Johnston, chair of the Department of English. The offerings will include Mike Garfield's Rise of the Third Republic, Trevor Garrison's That Time in Vegas, Nick Gauthier's The Mexican Contingency Plan, Brian Katz's A Fiendish Plot, Matt Rozman's Sweet Home Chicago, Steven Slater's Shouting Teresa, and Ben Stap's F**k You. Garrison's That Time in Vegas was the overall winner of the department's 2001-02 playwriting competition, while Gauthier's Fetal Matter won honorable mention.

Performers for "The Play's the Thing" include WMU Theatre students, as well as actors from other Kalamazoo area theatres.

Two other members of the class will not be included in the April 24 reading, because they'll be seeing their plays more fully presented at other venues. Kalamazoo College guest instructor Allison Williams' one-woman show True Story will appear throughout Canada in the coming year, including performances in Toronto and Vancouver, and will have a November staging in Kalamazoo at API. Le-Anne Garland's dramatic adaptation of Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn will be staged in WMU's York Arena Theatre at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, in partial fulfillment of thesis requirements for the Lee Honors College.

Johnston points out that numerous plays from the WMU playwriting program, particularly those showcased at past end-of-semester readings, have won productions and awards at area theatres. Graduate student Bethany Gibson, who took Johnston's class in fall 2001, had two plays, Live Through This and Special Delivery, featured at the Paw Paw Village Players festival in February.

Both "The Play's the Thing" readings will take place on the 10th floor of Sprau Tower and are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available. For further information, call the Department of English at 269 387-2572.

Media contact: Krista Iles, 269 387-2298, krista.iles@wmich.edu

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