There’s a certain thrill to watching one of your ideas come to life. For six young playwrights in Clark University’s Theater Arts Program that excitement will reach its peak during the program’s New Play Festival, running from November 3 to 22.
During the process of bringing their plays to the stage, the playwrights - in collaboration with other students, recent graduates and faculty mentors - gain hands-on development experience where they see their work evolve throughout the production process. The collaborative effort was key to the experience for junior Raechel Segal, author of “The Beef Stick Boys.”
“As a playwright, you have to step back sometimes and watch as your director creates brilliant new additions to your play (your baby) that you never could have imagined,” Segal said. “That’s why I love PlayFest. It’s wonderful to see so many people teaming up to create art.”
Besides providing a unique opportunity, it’s the first time many student playwrights will see their work produced.
“Seeing my work come alive in front of me has been an invaluable experience and I'm so thrilled with how my show has come together,” said senior Maya Davis, author of “Sensations.”
The plays and dates are as follows:
- November 3-5: “Garden Party” by Margaret French ’15, directed by Hannah Yukon
Ben and Sara are at the tail-end of a mini "vacation," watching a family member's home and garden. Dissatisfied with their lives, but unable to openly discuss it with each other, they find their world a monotonous, bitter routine. When they are visited by Alison, a local girl, they find their lives further thrown out of whack. The two struggle to pick up the pieces in a life that may never be the same. Winner of the 2014 Loring Holmes and Ruth Dodd Drama Contest
- November 6-8: “The Beef Stick Boys” by Raechel Segal ’17, directed by Wyndham Maxwell
Prom or ComiCon? That is the question. To Garth, the answer is clear — no to true love, yes to Pac-Man playoffs. But one Pizza Day, a new kid enters. His name is Dewey, or The D, and his mission is to find Garth a prom date. Will Garth find true love? Will Dewey become the real MVP? Will the teacher, Mr. O., ever meet his online crush? Does any of this really matter in the lives of these soon to be high school grads?
- November 10-12: “Reality Check” by Chloe Anderson ’16, directed by Jordan Formichelli
Six friends struggle through the end of college and hitting the “real” world for the first time. Relationships are put to the test and these young adults begin to figure out what success really is and what it costs.
- November 13-15: “Inevitable Chaos” by Colby Hinson ’16, directed by Alex McCoy
Door-to-door vacuum salesman Rocco arrives at an old gas station in the middle of nowhere and discovers Godric and Cooper, two eccentric, mysterious residents. Over the course of their talk, he learns the two don’t seem to know whether or not they exist. What follows is an exploration of identity that leads to a surprising conclusion.
- November 17-19: “More Than Friends” by Leah Marcus ’17, directed by Ava Molnar
Jared and Brett are two thirty-something roommates. Jared's parents are coming to visit him, thinking he's engaged to his girlfriend Marissa. However, she dumped him. In an act of desperation, he asks Brett to pretend to be Marissa to meet his parents. Really, it's more of an act of cowardice that may lead to an awkward dinner.
- November 20-22: “Sensations” by Maya Davis ’16, directed by Tyler Rosati
It’s Maddy’s freshman year of college and all of her new friends seem sexually experienced. Feeling like the only virgin left on the planet, Maddy throws caution to the wind, taking a job at a sex shop. In the process, Maddy discovers that sex is more complicated than she could ever have imagined.
All performances start at 7:30 p.m. in the Michelson Theater, located within the Little Center on Charlotte Street. Admission to each play is $5 for the general public, or free with a college ID. For more information, contact the Clark University Visual & Performing Arts Events Office at 508-793-7356 or email@example.com.
This year marks the fourth time the university’s Theater Arts Program is hosting the biannual festival and the first time since the department was ranked at 20 on The Princeton Review’s 2016 list of Best College Theater programs. The ranking, which is based on students’ answers in the organization’s annual survey and published in “The Best 380 Colleges: 2016 Edition,” also includes theater programs at Yale University and Emerson College.