Wake Forest to Host New Play Festival

During two weekends in February, Wake Forest University Theatre will forego the classics to present new plays by Wake Forest students and graduates.

The Year of the Arts Festival of New Plays will be held at Wake Forest Feb. 6-8 and 20-22, and will include playwriting workshops and conversations with visiting playwrights and critics.

“I want the Festival of New Plays to introduce the campus and community audience to new plays and how plays get started,” says Harold Tedford, Wake Forest University Theatre director and organizer of the event. “Finding new plays and encouraging playwrights to write keeps theater fresh, keeps theater new and on track with the times.”

A triple bill of plays will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday during each of the two weekends with matinees at 2:30 p.m. each Saturday. Most are one-act plays dealing with a range of subjects, such as poverty, faith and friendship.

Following the Friday and Saturday night performances, Wake Forest theater professor James Dodding will moderate discussions of the plays. Guest playwrights and critics will comment on the plays, the authors, directors and cast will answer questions. A reception will follow each Thursday night performance.

The six plays were selected from 27 submissions. Several will be directed by Wake Forest graduates and all will be performed by current Wake Forest students and alumni.

In addition to the performances of new plays, Wake Forest will sponsor two free workshops each weekend.

On Friday, Feb. 7, Matt Wolf, the London arts correspondent for the Associated Press and London theater critic and columnist for Variety, will teach a workshop on dramatic criticism from 3:30-5 p.m. in Scales Fine Arts Center, Room 208. Nancy Melich, an arts and features writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, will lead a workshop on dramatic criticism Friday, Feb. 21, from 3:30-5 p.m. in the same location.

On Saturday, Feb. 8, Laura Censabella, who teaches playwriting at New York’s New School, will lead a playwriting workshop from 10 a.m.-noon in Scales. David Mark Cohen, successful playwright and National Playwriting Awards Chair for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, will lead a playwriting workshop from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Feb. 22, in the same location.

To attend one evening’s set of plays, tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Theatergoers who want to see all six plays can purchase tickets priced at $10 for students and $15 for adults. For reservations, call the University Theatre Box Office at 910-759-5295.

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