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Book of one-act plays a first for New Issues

July 17, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Playwrights Arnold Johnston and Deborah Ann Percy have edited a series of 26 previously unpublished one-act plays in their new book, "The Art of the One-Act: An Anthology," the first project of its kind for Western Michigan University's publishing house, New Issues Press.

Johnston, WMU creative writing teacher and former longtime chair of the Department of English, teamed with his wife, Percy, for the collection of 10-minute and 30-minute plays from both award-winning, well-known dramatists and exciting newcomers. The editors introduced and discussed each piece, as well as provided commentary on the craft of playwriting.

The project is a first for News Issues in several ways--the first anthology, first drama publication and first project of this scale and scope.

The editors dedicated the work to the late Herbert Scott, WMU professor emeritus of English, who taught for 30 years at the University and was founding editor of New Issues. He died in February 2006.

Johnston and Percy have collaborated on a variety of projects, including scripts for Kalamazoo's All Ears Theatre and Whole Arts Theatre and the full-length plays in the "Detroit Trilogy," which include the award winning "The Zamboni Situation," "Small Slam" and "Beyond Sex."

Percy retired this year as principal of Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts in Kalamazoo.

"The Art of the One-Act" includes one-act plays by Constance Alexander, Claudia Barnett, Gaylord Brewer, Kent R. Brown, Joe Byers, Carey Daniels, Jim Daniels, Lisa Dillman, Christopher Farran, Steve Feffer, Bethany Gibson, Michael Hemmingson, Michael Hohnstein, Lewis Horton, Richard Keller, Holly Walter Kerby, Judy Klass, Maryann Lesert, James Magruder, Gloria G. Murray, Rich Orloff, Steven Schutzman, Danny Sklar, Bill Teitelbaum, Troy Tradup and Allison Williams. Several of the authors are WMU alumni or faculty members.

The interior pages and cover of the book were designed by recent WMU graduates Rachel Farabaugh and Jason Punchest while they were interns in the Design Center of WMU's Frostic School of Art.

The text was edited and arranged by Curtis Vandonkelaar, a doctoral candidate in the University's creative writing program.

"The Art of the One-Act" is available through major booksellers and online from barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.

Media contact: Deanne Molinari, (269) 387-8400, deanne.molinari@wmich.edu

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