Student Playwrights Set to Premiere Works During UH New Play Festival

It's been a very productive semester for seven University of Houston playwrights. After writing, rewriting, editing and fine-tuning their plays, these student scribes now are ready to share their works with audiences.

The UH School of Theatre & Dance will present its New Play Festival April 23 - 27 in the Jose Quintero Theatre. This free event will feature readings of student plays that were groomed throughout the spring semester under the watchful eye of Tony Award-winning writer and visiting UH distinguished professor Mark Medoff ("Children of a Lesser God"). Two professional playwrights, Beth Brandon and Nate Freeman, also will present readings of their latest works. "Mark Medoff has a great enthusiasm for our work and the development of our plays," said student playwright Nicholas Bogosian. "He clearly enjoys helping us to write the best plays we can write."

A list of the festival's plays, start times and dates are as follows:

  • 7 p.m., April 23
    "Kiri on a Ledge" by Rachel McKeehan - Two friends find themselves stranded on a mountain.
    "Elysium Interrupted" by Jill Summerville - A woman falls for a playwright who may be scripting his own death.
  • 7 p.m., April 24
    "Going Dark" by Elizabeth Keel - A young teacher experiences cataclysmic changes when a new student arrives.
    Untitled play by Betsy Earle - Two good witches from fairy tale land come to the real world.
    "Plimoth" by Nicholas Bogosian - A look at 17th century primordial America.
  • 7 p.m., April 25
    "Playing With Boys" by Beth Brandon
  • 7 p.m., April 26
    "Overpass" by Nate Freeman - Oral histories gathered by the UH Surviving Rita & Katrina Project will be presented.
  • Noon, April 27
    "The Burning Room" by Darrel Holnes - A woman flees Colombia and heads to Houston for a new start.
    "Universe Cake" by Nick Garelick - A Darwinian and a Cartesian thinker meet in a bookstore and a battle ensues.

Several of the student's plays will be developed into full productions during workshops conducted this fall. Freeman's "Overpass" will be the first production in the School of Theatre & Dance's 2008-2009 season.

"Plays simply don't happen at a conference table. They have to walk and talk," Medoff said. "There has to be the collaboration of separate spirits responsible for a play's fate including the writer, director, actors and designers."

WHAT: UH New Play Festival
WHEN: 7:00 p.m., April 23 - 26, noon, April 27
WHERE: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts/Jose QuinteroTheatre
University of Houston - Entrance 16
Houston, TX 77204
WHO: UH School of Theatre & Dance