WMU News

New Play Project showcases student talent

May 17, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Staged readings of new one-act plays by Western Michigan University student-playwrights will be performed and directed by WMU theatre students on three Monday evenings this spring.

"New Play Project" productions in York Arena Theatre are May 24, June 7 and 21 beginning at 8 p.m. Each production will run about 90 minutes and will feature four or five one-act plays. The performances are free and open to the public.

The 14 one-act plays showcased in the New Play Project are the focus of a summer session course in the rehearsal and development of new plays. Offered through Extended University Programs, the class is being team-taught by Joan Herrington, professor of theatre, and by Steve Feffer, assistant professor of playwriting and contemporary drama in the WMU Department of English.

The plays, selected on a competitive basis from an open call for new theatrical works, receive two weeks of rehearsal with the company's cast and crew before being presented as script-in-hand staged-readings with minimal production elements.

The program is a collaboration between the WMU departments of theatre and English. According to theatre chair D. Terry Williams, he and Arnie Johnston, chair of English, have been developing the program for several years.

"Arnie and I have been working on something like this for years," says Williams, "and I'm very pleased to see it finally taking shape. "

"Playwrights can't exist without those who stage and interpret their work--and vice versa," says Johnston. "So a training program like this makes perfect sense. "

The company of actors includes Catherine Dildilion, Ryan Dolley, Jeffrey Fauver, Kristie Kelly, Michael Pfotenhauer, Melissa Prior, Prescott Seymour, Allison Shoemaker, Jay Steadman, Lindsay Weaver.

New Play Project Schedule

Monday, May 24, 8 p.m., York Arena Theatre
"A Random Haunting" by Steven Slater, directed by Martin Kettling.
"The Complex " by Robin Runyan, directed by Kevin Dodd.
"Fudge in an Elevator" by Justin Gibson, directed by Martin Kettling.
"Punk" by Ken Witzgall, directed by Kevin Dodd.
"Someday" by Allison Williams, directed by Casey Van Wormer.

Monday, June 7, 8 p.m., York Arena Theatre
"The Red Death" by Angela De Luca, directed by Martin Kettling.
"The Shadow Knows" by Johanna Blanchard, directed by Allison Williams.
"Workshop Murder 101" by Diana Fox, directed by Casey Van Wormer.
"Trigger-Happy" by Joseph Jasina, directed by Martin Kettling.

Monday, June 21, 8 p.m., York Arena Theatre
"The Sandman" by Casey Van Wormer, directed byKevin Dodd.
"Hector's Secret" by Nick Gauthier, directed by Martin Kettling.
"In This Room" by Emily Hallman, directed by Martin Kettling.
"Primed" by Andrew McClean, directed by Casey Van Wormer.
"When Jason Was in Kindergarten" by Carey Daniels, directed by Kevin Dodd.

For more information, contact Steve Feffer at (269) 344-5179 or <steve.feffer@wmich.edu>.

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

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