|Excited student playwright encourages excited acting troupe to take goofy selfie.|
Desiring to share my happiness, I posted the following status update before attempting to actually go to bed:
What? Oh, yes! Not the playwright I was thinking of at that moment, but of course! People come and go so quickly here ... it wasn't barely more than twenty-four hours earlier I and a number of the same artists employed in Love In Pieces were participating in the annual Lorain County Community College Playwriting Contest, produced in collaboration with Great Lakes Theater.
|Spontaneous Tom by Emily Buttita|
For our part, Great Lakes holds a competition in early April, a panel of judges evaluate the work and choose winners who receive a cash prize, and traditionally the first place winner gets a staged reading performed by actors from our residency program.
This year we had a new partner in Daniel Cleary, who did an awesome job in bringing out good work from his student writers. There were several readings in class and revisions before the competition, and our judges were impressed by the work. As the assignment was to create ten minute lays (or something close to it) we decided to stage the first and second place winners, for an evening which was still something less than an hour, even following a post-performance talkback with the awarded playwrights.
|The Cracks In Our Foundations by Krista Price|
Walking through each piece, I would just stop the actors, give an opinion on what I thought was really happened, we'd go back a line or two and continue. Or I'd just say something that reinforced what was already going on, but make it more obvious. We had little set, few props, it was all about the words the students had written.
You walk into an empty space and hope that the process, that the afternoon and evening will be enjoyable. And the work moves smoothly, we had a record audience of over fifty - friends, family, fellow students - and each of these pieces were received very enthusiastically by the audience. They were each funny, but also affecting. They played even better than they read.
It is at times like this that I am (again) truly grateful for the professional company I keep. Young, enthusiastic, entirely "game" actors with little ego and a lot of focus. And on this night I also learned there are few things so joyful as learning a playwright - or two - is happy with the way you interpreted their work.
Complete information on the 2014 Lorain County Community College Playwriting Contest