March 16, 2015

Big Muddy New Play Festival is March 26-29

by Vincent Rhomberg

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Department of Theater at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will present the Big Muddy New Play Festival later this month in the C.H. Moe Theater in the Communications Building. 

The third annual festival is under the guidance of Jacob Juntunen, an assistant professor and head of the department’s playwriting program, along with staged readings of three new plays. 

This year’s fully produced work is “Last Seen Alice” by Jaclyn Grogan. Alice, now living in a magical RV park, plans to return to her former self. But an ever-changing environment, her big-haired landlady and the arrival of two park newbies complicate matters. This production runs Thursday through Saturday, March 26-28 at 7:30 p.m., and at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 29. Tickets are $16 for adults, $6 for students. General admission tickets are available at the McLeod Theater box office, open weekdays from noon to 5 p.m., by phone at 618/453-600 or online at Seating is limited. 

The staged readings of new plays, which are free and open to the public, are: 

  • “Lewis and the House of Cards” by Rebekah Durig, directed by Marla Schultz, 4 p.m., March 27. This play tells the story of a polite, mild-mannered man sent to a mysterious island where he must find his inner Casanova to survive.
  • “Response Scenario” by Rory Leahy, directed by Patrick McGregor, 1 p.m., March 28. This play centers on a charismatic, progressive president who must confront an unfolding biblical apocalypse.
  • “Girls with Bodies” by Kirsten Easton, directed by Bobbi Masters, 4 p.m., March 28.  In this coming-of-age play, six women explore their experiences and relationships with their bodies.