Arts and Culture

Tenth annual New Plays Festival showcases student talent

In just a few weeks, the tenth annual New Plays Festival will showcase Wheaton students’ talents in playwriting, directing and acting.

The festival will take place over the first weekend in March, and will include nine plays. Professor of Theater David Fox said that the plays are a good way to “showcase the words of the playwright.”

Although Fox and Associate Professor of Playwriting Charlotte Meehan oversee the preparations for the festival, the plays are completely student-run. They are usually written by students in Meehan’s fall semester advanced playwriting course and directed by students in David Fox’s directing class. This year, however, because the directing class was not offered, the plays have a variety of directors, some from the writing class and some who are otherwise involved with the theater department.

The collaboration of playwright and director allows for several potential rewrites throughout the rehearsal process, but the festival is designed not to pressure the students involved. “Good work comes out of it, and keeping the limit to six hours of rehearsal prevents it from becoming too competitive,” said Fox. In addition, the actors perform the plays script-in-hand, so no memorization is required. The production is also minimal, so the focus remains on the writing.

The New Plays Festival is not only a beneficial experience for the playwrights and the directors, but for the actors. Ryan Barrette ’15, who will be acting in three plays at the festival, said, “I’m really excited for the challenge of creating three unique characters in such a short amount of time. I’ve also had the pleasure of talking with the playwrights about the script and their interpretations of the characters, which has been a new and rewarding experience as an actor.”

The New Plays Festival is free to attend and will be performed at Kresge Experimental Theater, beginning on March 1. The plays scheduled this year include:

Friday, March 1 at 7:30 pm:

“Curtains”, written by Jenna Giuffrida ’13, directed by Ashleigh Osgood ’13. Cast: Erika McCormack ’15, Ryan Barrette ’15, Corinne Manning ’14, Sven Wiberg ’15, Elizabeth Sorgi ’13, Luke Demers ’14, Ariel Temple ’15, Jack Quigley ’16.

“Daisies,” written by Jessica Flori ’13, directed by Catherine Braxton ’14. Cast: Sven Wiberg ’15, Carlie Smith ’14, Stasie Tammen ’16, Megan Campbell ’14, Carrie Slayton ’16.

Saturday, March 2 at 1:00 pm:

“The List”, written by Ashleigh Osgood ’13, directed by Tim Peck ’14. Cast: Dan Dickerson ’16, Emma MacMullan ’15, Elizabeth Peterson ’15, Luke Demers ’14, Jillian Gabriel ’15.

“Pipes”, written by Caroline Osborn ’13, directed by Jessica Flori ’13. Cast: Linnea Wilhjelm ’15, Zach Marlay-Wright ’16, Ryan Barrette ’15, Jillian Gabriel ’15, Jordan Wolfe ’15.

Saturday, March 2 at 4:00 pm:

“The Birds Were Flown”, written by Charlotte Kinder ’13, directed by Hilary Lahan ’13. Cast: Joe Nelson ’14, Erika McCormack ’15, Emily Bergmann ’16, Andy Cavacco ’13, Montana Rogers ’14, Lynnette Dent ’16, Rafael Galarza ’15, Conner Bourgoin ’16.