Friday, January 2, 2009

January 5th, 8 PM Play Readings to Benefit WMU Kennedy Center/ACTF Playwrights

This Monday, January 5th at 8 PM, at the Whole Art Theatre Studio Space at 246 North Kalamazoo Mall, there will be a benefit play reading for the four graduate students from the Creative Writing Program that have been selected by the National Playwriting Program of the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival to have their plays presented at the KC/ACTFs prestigious regional festival, being held this year in Saginaw, Michigan January 6 - 11. The plays were four of the thirteen total that were selected from over one hundred and fifty entries that were submitted in three categories: ten minutes, one acts and full lengths.

This will be a benefit for the playwrights to raise money in support of their trip to the festival. There will be a reading of each of the short plays and scenes from the full length, as well as Dionysian revelry. Admission to the event is free. A hat will be passed. Refreshments will be for sale. There may be a silent auction. The hat may be auctioned.

The plays and playwrights are:

MFA playwright Kris Peterson's play "Gun Metal Blue Bar" is one of the region's six ten minute plays. Additionally, Kris's play has been selected for a reading at the Mid-American Theatre Conference that will be held in March in Chicago. In Kris's play, Ricky's looking to get paid for a few weeks of hard work around Henry's racing pigeon lofts. However, one final gruesome act is separating Ricky from the money he needs to rescue his late father's cuff links from the pawn shop.

MFA playwright Karen Wurl's "Now and At the Hour Of" and MFA playwright Jason Lenz's "The Switch Room" are two of the six one act plays. Karen's play was originally presented at WMU as part of FUSE ONE.

In Wurl's "Hour," a middle-aged woman revisits 1977, a motel room, and a lost love, in an attempt to recover a lost self.

In Jason's play, Gus and Sam have an important job to do: flip the large switch in the switch room, at the second specified to them by the government, with no knowledge of what is being set in motion by the ambiguous lever. The problem is that today Gus and Sam are beginning to question what the switch actually does once activated.

Recent Ph.D creative writing program graduate Christine Iaderosa's play The Sins of Kalamazoo is the sole full length play to be presented. Christine's play will be presented in a full production later this year at the Whole Art Theatre. The Sins of Kalamazoo is a loose adaptation of the Carl Sandburg poem with reminiscence of the lost past of Americana and the failed promise of yesteryear.

The plays will be presented at the festival and then responded to by a panel of theatre professionals that this year includes Aaron Carter from Chicago's Victory Gardens Theatre and Roger Hall, the Kennedy Center's National Playwriting Program Chair.

The Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival provides opportunities for over 18,000 theatre students and faculty throughout the country. English Department Professor Steve Feffer serves as the Vice Chair for the KCACTF III National Playwriting Program.

For more information please contact Dr. Steve Feffer at

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