Second Annual Playwriting Festival

Katie Keyser '16, A&E Section Editor

The honors theater ensemble presented a cold reading of 14 plays produced by the students of the spring English playwriting elective in the black box for the second Annual Playwriting Festival.  Throughout the spring term, each student wrote a monologue, a 10-minute one act play, and a 10-page play.

“My orientation of teaching playwriting is three-fold. One you have to read plays, two you have to understand what makes a good scene, and three is you have to help them find their voices as writers, the mysterious part of their voice that is good playwriting,” said Jay Jaski, arts department teacher and teacher of the playwriting elective.

The students were given three weeks to write two drafts of the plays performed on May 22 and 23.

“For me, the writing process was more focused on developing characters and letting them create a plot for themselves.  For me in particular, my characters drove my play. I also utilized personality traits and habits that my friends had and incorporated those into my characters as well,” Katie Benham ’16, student of the playwriting elective, said.

The audience was impressed by the writing and different styles of the plays.

“My favorite play was ‘Demons’ by Micah Patt because I thought it was really cool to see what both sides are thinking in terms of people starting new relationships. You don’t realize it at the time, but both members of the relationship have their nerves and worries, and I thought the play beautifully portrayed that,” Giulia Marolda ’18 said.

The students enjoyed watching their work being performed.

“My favorite part of both the class and the performance is definitely listening to your play come to life,” said Vanessa Ruiz ’16, a student of the playwriting elective, said. “It was super cool; I felt like I was writing life into a piece of paper, the actors were giving it a voice.”

“I think that’s the cool part of the class. You’re working toward that goal. You get to sit in the audience as a playwright and listen to the play. Because a play isn’t supposed to be on a page, it’s supposed to be on a stage,” Jaski said.