Office of Public Affairs
March 21, 2001
CONTACT: Brad Korbesmeyer, 312-2625
'NEW VOICES' PLAY FESTIVAL
TO BE STAGED AT SUNY OSWEGO
OSWEGO -- A student play on school violence and six others on widely varied topics will be featured in the eighth annual edition of SUNY Oswego's "New Voices" March 31 and April 1 in Tyler Hall's lab theatre.
The staged readings of 10-minute plays written and directed by students will take place at 8 p.m. The performances will be open to the public free of charge.
Plays will include "The Nice Exhibit" by Sean Treacy, directed by Ryan Parow; "From the Mouths . . ." by Jamie Hutt, directed by Kate McGrath; "Who Knew . . ." by Kerry Reynolds, directed by Kerry Volkland; "Ash Wednesday," by Joelle Myszka, directed by Hutt; "Three Boys" by Thomas Hoffman, directed by Eric Webb; "Dr. Mr. Baker" by Andrew McIlwraith, directed by Brian Pringle; and "Scene 19" by Pringle, directed by John Smiley.
"This is a snapshot of what students are thinking," says Brad Korbesmeyer, director of the English writing arts program. "Sometimes that snapshot can give you pause."
The short plays traditionally range over a variety of subjects. "Over the years we've seen a range from realistic drama about relationships to absurdist plays to plays about the future," Korbesmeyer says.
Some are driven by dialogue and others by ideas. Still others take an interesting character and explore it, he says.
"It's a great opportunity to share with others," says Myszka, a junior broadcasting major. Her play is about school shootings. "I hope people will take a minute to think about it," she says.
She had written her script in a playwriting course last semester and entered the competition for the first time this year.
Hutt, a senior majoring in theatre and English writing arts, is experiencing the "thrill of doing both sides." Her script is being presented, and she is directing Myszka's play.
Hutt participated in the program last year and calls it "a real opportunity," explaining that "things that look good on the page might not in person."
"New Voices" is a joint project of the English and theatre departments at SUNY Oswego. It began in 1994 as a vehicle for student playwrights and directors to work on new work.
"Frequently their first jobs will be in readings of new work or exploring new work," says Korbesmeyer.
The seven winning plays this year were chosen from a field of about 25. A judging panel made up of three students and three faculty members screened and rated the plays to determine the finalists.
About 50 people participate in the staged reading program, including the student writers, actors, directors and technicians, and faculty.
"New Voices" was modeled after the Actors Theatre of Louisville's 10-minute play program. The short length is "exciting," Korbesmeyer says. "The length forces you to be very specific, get into the story, build to a climax and wrap it up," he says.
"New Voices" is popular and usually plays to a standing-room-only house. Playgoers are urged to arrive early.
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