Work of student playwrights to be featured this weekend

Photo by Craig Sheldon, via flickr 

Junette Reyes/Entertainment Director 

Every year since 2008, a select few of submissions of plays written by students are performed in the form of stage readings in association with the Department of Theatre. The work featured is always written, performed and directed by the students themselves, this year even featuring students outside of the department.

“We announce it through the playwriting class, people who have taken it over the years, the Theatre Department and really anyone who has taken an interest,” Professor Michael Yawney said.

The New Plays Festival 2014 will present a total of six plays. There is no underlying theme connecting each of the stories, therefore the audience can expect a different experience with each.

“The audience can expect to laugh, cry and be scared,” Yawney said. “The plays really range from everything from a comedy that takes place in the time of Shakespeare to one of the plays that is a really scary, comedy thriller about a hired killer. Another one is based on something many of us have seen: the ducks being violent against each other by the dormitories and someone’s reaction to ducks committing violence. Another play is a very strong play about a significant life-changing event I think that everyone attending FIU has been through. We also have a wonderful surrealistic play about the search for love and we also have a romantic comedy.”

All of the plays are short and approximately 10 minutes long. Yawney expects the production to run for about an hour and 20 minutes.

“It’s a real range of material and the wonderful thing about short plays is that there’s always another one a few minutes away,” Yawney said.

The plays billed include “Bus Stop,” written by Patricia Morales and directed by Amanda Ortega, “Dos Quartos,” written by Julio Liverpool and directed by Chachi Colon, “The Lesson,” written by Madeline Escarne and directed by Caitlyn Lincoln, “September,” written by Ashley McGuire and directed by Missy Franciscus, “Quack Means No,” written by Patrick Rodriguez and directed by Nelly Torres and “La Vecchia Religione,” written by Nelly Torres and directed by Nakeyta Moore.

One of the writers, Patrick Rodriguez, who is a senior in the acting program, previously participated in the festival as an actor in several pieces within the last two years.

“I will not be participating in any of them this year, however, I will be overseeing my show to make sure if anything needs to be changed or offer any opinion. From a dramaturgical standpoint, I’ll try to be involved. As far as the actual production of it, I’ll wipe my hands clean of it,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez wrote “Quack Means No” two years ago and has been working on the piece since then. The play centers around a couple having an argument and involves a duck and sexual assault.

“I think it’s going to be a really fun time. I’m not familiar with the other pieces being put on but as far as my show goes, it’s supposed to be comedic so hopefully people laugh but hopefully it also gets people to think about a topic that is touchy. I want people to laugh but also think,” Rodriguez said.

The work of playwrights from the University will be performed today, March 21 with a repeat performance on Saturday, March 22. The event is free for audiences to attend and will take place in DM 150 at 8 p.m.

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