November 26, 2007

New plays debut during upcoming festival

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Two new plays from students in the Department of Theater at Southern Illinois University Carbondale debut during the Playwright's Thesis Play Festival this year, which runs from Nov. 29 through Dec. 2.

The first play is "Verse Chorus Verse," which tells the story of a girl obsessed with the suicide death of Nirvana front-man Kurt Cobain. It plays Nov. 29 and Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Christian H. Moe Laboratory Theater.

Randall Colburn (Rochester Hills, Mich.), a graduate student and teaching assistant, wrote the play. He is not new to playwriting, having won awards at the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival with his plays "Ravishment" and "Svetlana." "Ravishment" also won the Dad's Garage Theater Company Ten-Minute Play Fellowship competition. He brought his play "Naked Backed" to the Bloomington Playwrights Project during its Visiting Voices program.

Segun Ojewuyi, SIUC assistant professor of directing and acting, directs the play.

The cast includes: Ellen Conn (Neoga), Justin Allen (Carmi), Aaron Charlton Smith (Springfield), Amy France (Havana) and Tom Glessner (Waterloo).

The second play is "Summer of the Wolf," in which a serial killer threatens the gay community of a small town. It plays Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. in the Christian H. Moe Laboratory Theater.

Laramie Dean, (Missoula, Mont.) is the author. Dean was active in the Missoula theater scene, where his documentary-play "Out From Under the Big Blue Sky" took the stage. His "Walking Woman and the Devil" was part of the Bloomington Playwrights Project Visiting Voices program. Other plays include "Slash," and "We Are Not Monsters."

Emily Kelly-Padden (Pittsburgh, Pa.), a doctoral student in speech communication, directs the play with J. Thomas Kidd, assistant professor in theater.

The cast includes Scott Sauder (Peoria), Jim Kress (Carmi), Rachel Goffinet (Hurst), Jon Breeden (Benton), Mike Johnson (Mundelein) and Jonathan Hughes, Amy Hanselmann, Laura Colin and Natalie Moreno, all currently of Carbondale.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and $6 for students. Call the McLeod box office at 618/453-3001 for tickets from noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets are also available one hour before each performance.