Playwrights’ Showcase at PSU Feb. 12-14

February 10th, 2009 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — One-act plays by four Plymouth State University student playwrights will be presented as staged readings Feb. 12-14 at the Silver Center for the Arts. The directors for each production are also students.

The productions are:

The Only Light There Is, by Courtney Corriveau, a junior theatre arts major from Bangor, Maine; directed by Paul Hartwell, with actors Elizabeth Desrosiers and Ryan McCall.

Corriveau’s play is about the weight a chance meeting can have on the development of the rest of one’s life. “It really is spectacular to think about the swift affects strangers can have on our future. Being able to see my writing brought to life will be a little surreal. … it will really bring all of my thought processes out in the open. I’m anxious and very excited to see how everything turns out,” Corriveau said.

Truth, by Jacqueline Fifield, a December 2008 graduate from Pittsfield, N.H.; directed by Erik Barry, with actors Eric St. Cyr, Colin Malette, Elizabeth Desrosiers and Abbie Morin.

Truth is about a 30-year old man who is obsessed with breaking a world record, but is keeping a secret from himself and from those he loves. The play is about his struggles with life, and how he comes to terms with things he, in the past, was unable to face.

“Seeing my play on stage will make me more aware of how people interpret what I am writing and the changes I can make so those interpretations will match what my intentions were,” said Fifield.

Two Faces of a Coin, by Joshua Coleman, a sophomore theatre arts major from West Yarmouth, Mass.; directed by Tania Saunders, with actors Ryan McCall, Eric St. Cyr, Elizabeth Desrosiers and Brady Lynch.

Two Faces of a Coin is about a man who returns home in an attempt to win over his best friends fiancé just days before the friend and fiancé marry. Coleman said the production will be both a learning experience and a pleasure.”

Quiet Mornings, by Angela Smith, a senior theatre arts major from Holderness, N.H.; directed by Jeremy Zglobicki, with actors Colin Malette, Ryan McCall, Eric St. Cyr, Lauren Patterson, Marni Balint, Emily Snidman and Liz Daniels.

Quiet Mornings is an expressionistic play that explores the character of Dil, a comfortably complacent man who is just trying to get through his days.

“As he encounters others on the commute and at work, we see his daily pattern of shrinking away from life outside his shell, and we witness the consequences as he unintentionally allows life, in turn, to shrink away from him,” said Smith.

“I hope to gain some insights about how to ensure that the message of the play is clear and secure, without restricting the artists’ ability to play with the script. I also hope to learn how adding the reality of physical and spatial elements of performance changes the feel of a script,” Smith said.

PSU Professor Paul Mroczka, who is coordinator and dramagurg of the showcase, said new plays are the life-blood of theatre.

“Every director and actor wants to be involved in this type of creative effort that defines the essence of theatre. And every producer knows that discovering new, exciting writers keeps the theatre robust and healthy,” he said.

The plays in the PSU Playwrights’ Showcase are presented as script-in-hand staged readings, so all of the work that directors, actors and playwrights would normally do in rehearsing for a full production is addressed. The difference between staged readings and full productions is that there are no production elements—sets, costumes and lighting, if represented at all, are minimal. The actors hold their scripts in-hand, which helps the audience keep in mind that the focus of the evening is each new play.

The plays, which were created in Professor Mroczka’s playwriting class last spring, are all still in development as writers work with directors and actors to hone their scripts. Ten new one-act plays came out of last year’s class. This fall, the 10 new plays were evaluated by a committee of three play readers, all of whom are PSU theatre faculty members, and four scripts were chosen for presentation in the showcase.

Student directors then read and analyzed the plays and submitted directing proposals, and Mroczka chose the four student directors. The student playwrights focused on rewriting their scripts after meeting with their directors prior to the university’s holiday break. They started rehearsing when second semester started.

“These presentations will give students the opportunity to see their words go from paper to stage and to understand the impact of their scripts,” according to Mroczka. “The best way for a playwright to judge a script is through the reaction of an audience.” Mroczka said. “Each of these new works offers something interesting and entertaining for audiences.”

Tickets for the Playwrights’ Showcase are $5 at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS or (800) 779-3869.

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