This article originally appeared in the December 13 edition of The Greater Ashland Beacon weekly newspaper.
For the fourth fall semester in a row playwriting students at Ashland Community and Technical College have been composing comedies and dramas for their annual New Play Festival of Student Written Work, staged each April on campus in conjunction with the Student Art Showcase.
This combination of the theatre festival and art showcase has proven, over and over again, to be one of the most exciting times of the year for ACTC students eager to express their creative, artistic side and for those wishing to try something new.
Over the past three years, the festival has also given over a hundred students, faculty, staff, and community members an opportunity to “get their feet wet” in theatre without the extended commitment that often comes with putting on a full length play.
The play fest has combined all of the before mentioned elements together to host premieres of three dozen new plays, all written by students, in 2014, 2015, and 2016. They’ve been a big hit for locals and some of these works have even gone on to further production at the Kentucky State Fair and the Ten-tucky fest, both in Louisville, and in New York City.
ACTC’s New Play Festival event has been covered in The Dramatist magazine, a nationwide extension of The Dramatist Guild, the largest organization devoted to playwrights in America.
The 4th Annual event will debut thirteen new works, thus bringing close to 50 the number of new plays developed in just four years.
And, now, with the fall term at its end comes the difficult task of deciding what thirteen comedies and dramas will make up this year’s fest. Each student has written monologues, scenes, and ten minute plays. Some have ventured even further with multiple plays and/or a full length play, which is quite the accomplishment for only a semester’s worth of work.
The plays selected for April performance are: (drumroll, please)
A Short Scene by Cody Avery
Writer’s Block by Sarah Diedrich
A Scene From Beauty Underneath by Desiree Rayne
Lexington by Robert Range
Stuck in Limbo by Kelly Vance
A Scene From Afternoon Tango by Janet Woodring
A Scene From The Shattered Home by Gary Brown
Judging By The Cover by R.C. Burch
The Huxley by Ashley Hacker
A Starlit Healing by Noel McDavid
When I See You Again by Mikaela McDonald
How It Is Really Done by Erin Moore
A Monologue by Julian Thigpen
Congratulations to all playwrights involved. Directors are now being assigned to shows, and the festival really gets rolling with auditions (open to the public) February 27 and 28. Performance dates will be April 7, 8, and 9. This year’s festival will be coordinated by Sarah Diamond Burroway. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.