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SFA’s New Play Development Workshop to present original student works

April 28, 2013—Robbie Goodrich

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS—The works of five advanced student playwrights in the School of Theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University will be presented at 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 29 through May 3, in the Upstage Theatre in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus.

The works are products of the SFA New Play Development Workshop, under the direction of Jack Heifner, playwright in residence at SFA, which teamed the playwrights with student actors and directors in the development of new plays. The staged readings are the results of their work during the spring semester.

The week’s schedule of new full-length plays includes:

• Monday, April 29 – “Losers,” written by Luke Norton, directed by Kat Edwards.
• Tuesday, April 30 – “Stuck,” written by Heather Abbott, directed by Benn May.
• Wednesday, May 1 – “Home,” written by Ashe Vernon, directed by Benn May.
• Thursday, May 2 – “Doomed,” written by Anna Goldberg, directed by Kat Edwards.
• Friday, May 3 – “The Play Where Somebody Dies At The End,” written by Noah Scheibmeir, directed by Kat Edwards and Benn May.

Student actors Vanessa Hendricks, John Lisi, Daniel Miller and Nick Pinelli will perform all of the plays.

Pinelli, a sophomore theatre major from The Woodlands, described the workshop as “a great experience for me.” The first part of the semester focused on writing, as writers and actors collaborated while each play’s script and its characters evolved from beginning to end.

“This has been a wonderful experience for me, especially as an actor,” Pinelli said, “because in the class, we were able to get a sneak peak at how a play is made from the conception of the idea. Also, I never had the challenge of playing four different characters all in one week. The writers have been working very hard on creating new, charismatic works, while the directors have been there to help the writers with their vision and put these plays on their feet. As one of the actors, I can say that the real challenge has been differentiating each of the characters and (understanding) the story that the writers want to come alive on stage.”

Pinelli said the collective creativity and expression incorporated into the play development process helped him to better understand the value of versatility within the world of theatre.

“This is the first year that a class like this has appeared, and I certainly hope it is not the last,” he said. “We have created five different works in one semester. That is an incredible feat that almost no other school can say that they have done. Classes like this are why I love SFA theatre.”

Admission is free for all performances. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Theatre at (936) 468-4003.