WMU News

'The Play's the Thing' for student playwrights

April 15, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Three reader's theatre presentations, "The Play's the Thing," at Western Michigan University will mark the end of the spring semester for student playwrights in the Department of English.

Readers will include WMU theatre students, as well as actors from other area theatres. The performances, which are free and open to the public, take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 21, and from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, on the tenth floor of Sprau Tower. Refreshments will be offered.

Under the general title "The Play's the Thing," the April 21 presentation will highlight scenes and short plays from guest instructor Bethany Gibson's introductory playwriting course. The lineup includes "Cigarettes and Ballet" by Greag Brown, "What is it Good For?" by Heather Finch, "Mike Dies" by Stephen Hentchel, "Na Sdrovya" by Derek Johnson, "A Tuesday Evening" by Martin Kettling, "The Only Cloud in the Sky" by Robert Lombardo, and "Gomez" by Josh Richard.

Performances at 12:30 p.m. April 23 feature original works by students from distinguished visiting playwright Claudia Allen's introductory playwriting class. The offerings will include short monologues, dialogues, and scenes written on a variety of themes and performed together by Allen's students, Nick Armstrong, Nik Blahunka, Daniel Dahman, Jamie Devereaux, Joel Eisenberg, Leslie Finch, Katie McClain, Ted Mero, Nicole Milliman, Geoffrey O'Green, Morgan Rescorla, Gordon Rousseau, and Joe Shoup.

April 23 performances at 7:15 p.m. highlight the work of Claudia Allen's advanced playwriting students. The presentation will include short monologues, dialogues and scenes all set in a fictitious establishment called "The Foxxx Hole." Allen's advanced students, Steve Davy, Casaundra Flagg, Diana Fox, Monica Friedman, Bethany Gibson, Brian Katz, Karen Kavana, Faith Markel, Monica McFawn Robinson, Mike Monje, Matthew Siegel, Casey Van Wormer, Jared Vineyard, Allison Williams, and April Wolfe, in addition to writing all the presented pieces, will be performing in each others' work.

Allen, a visiting writer-in-residence at WMU, is an award-winning member of the Playwrights Ensemble at Chicago's Victory Gardens Theatre, where nine of her plays have been main stage productions. Her ninth play, "Unspoken Prayers," runs at Victory Gardens through May 4. Allen says she has greatly enjoyed working with up and coming WMU student writers. "I hope the students have had as much fun in these classes as I have."

For further information on "The Play's the Thing," contact the Department of English at 269 387-2572, or contact Arnie Johnston, department chair, at <arnie.johnston@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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