The Catholic University of America

Aug. 20, 2007

Kennedy Center to Stage Plays by Five CUA Students

Every young playwright dreams of having one of their plays performed at Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. That dream will come true for four of CUA's playwriting students and one doctoral student in composition at the Kennedy Center's Page to Stage Festival from Sept. 1 to 3.

From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2, CUA acting students will perform readings of the following short plays by CUA playwriting graduate students, directed by CUA graduate students in directing, in the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater:

  • Born Normal by Stephen Spotswood, directed by Carrie Klewin
  • Deforestation and Its Effects on Wood Nymphs by Stephen Lewis, directed by Jay Brock
  • Changing Colors by Meg Schadl, directed by Ryan Whinnem
  • Yellow Lentils by Emily Solomon, directed by Angie Prater (who is not a CUA student).

These four one-act plays explore unpredictable memories, secret lovers, humans with wings, and fairy witches struggling to survive in Hollywood.

Then from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3, audiences will enjoy a staging of doctoral student Kyle Gullings' The Eden Diaries, the first thesis production in CUA's new Master of Music program in stage music composition. Klewin will direct. Based on two short stories by Mark Twain, this musical offers a comedic take on the relationship of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, as they explore, quarrel and eventually choose between a perfect existence and their love for each other.

More than 25 theaters from the D.C. metropolitan area are staging plays at this festival, which gives audiences a chance to see the process of creating theatrical works, whether they're still works-in-progress or freshly completed.

The festival also offers the playwrights and directors the opportunity to present their works in an audience setting - allowing them to see what works and what doesn't.

In addition, CUA alumnus Shawn Northrip, B.A. 1999, will have his musical, The Wonderful World of Zidney, staged from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sept. 2. The musical is an adaptation of the Scorpion and Frog fable: Ike Mizner deals with his own scorpion-like nature and his need for Jacob Fishberger to advance the Zidney Corporation.

The festival is free and open to the public. For more information, go to the Kennedy Center Web site at http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/index.cfm?fuseaction=showEvent&event=XHPRE. -R.W.

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Catholic University's drama department was founded in 1937 by Rev. Gilbert V. Hartke, O.P., and has graduated more than 2,000 people. CUA graduates include actors Jon Voight, Susan Sarandon, and Tony Award winner Philip Bosco. For the department's Master of Fine Arts degree, students can concentrate in acting, directing or playwriting. Graduates of the drama school have won three Tony Awards and three Pulitzer Prizes for best play of the year.

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