The Catholic University of America

Aug. 9, 2011

Two CUA Students Among Five Finalists in National Playwriting Contest

  A poster for the play “Whales” by graduate student Bob Bartlett

Timothy Guillot and Bob Bartlett, graduate students in CUA’s Department of Drama, are among the five finalists in the Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, sponsored by the Alliance Theatre of Atlanta. Their plays will be read in Atlanta and New York leading up to the Alliance Theatre’s world premiere of the 2012 winning play.

The Kendeda National Playwriting Competition is open to all playwriting students enrolled in accredited Master of Fine Arts programs throughout the country. Having two students chosen from the same university for this competition is unprecedented, says Gail Beach, drama department chair and associate professor.

“The quality of the work that our MFA playwrights have been producing under [Assistant Professor] Jon Klein’s tutelage has brought them attention from a wide variety of sources, many on the national stage,” Beach says.

Bartlett’s play, “Whales,” is about a 14-year-old boy who visits his family’s secluded cottage on the lower Outer Banks of North Carolina. The play explores his relationship with his father and their connection to the sea.

Bartlett’s play was also chosen from a national pool as one of two scripts to be read last month at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the DC Area Writers’ Showcase during the convening of the National New Play Network.

In Guillot’s “We Fight We Die,” a pack of passionate urban poets tell the story of Q, a homeless, virtuosic graffiti artist who has transfixed the local city with his stunning and subversive work. Finally caught by the police, Q must license his talents to the local government in order to avoid jail.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been chosen as a finalist for such a prestigious playwriting competition,” Guillot says. “I am even more thrilled that I share the honor with my friend and CUA colleague Bob Bartlett. I hope this unprecedented achievement helps vault CUA into the upper echelon of American MFA playwriting programs, where it rightfully belongs.”

For more information on the Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, visit Readings of the five finalist plays will take place during the 2012 Kendeda Competition Reading Festival early next year. Free and open to the public, a complete schedule of events will be available in early 2012.

MEDIA: For more information on Catholic University’s MFA program or to interview the playwrights, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy at 202-319-5600.


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