FET’s Playwrights Festival was a Huge Success for College Writers

The three plays were well received by audiences, which is cool

by Hillary Bosch

Opinions Editor

This past weekend, Fordham Experimental Theatre hosted its Spring Playwrights Festival. A bastion of student-written theatre, FET hosts a Playwrights Festival each semester in order to showcase student written, one act plays. This spring, FET was proud to present works from FCRH juniors Tim Mountain, Phil Thompson, and myself!

Phil wrote a Twilight-Zone-esque show about a man driving in the middle of the night, struggling to stay awake by listening to a radio show for late-night travellers titled K-Round. This show was stunningly experimental, as the only person on stage for most of the show was just the lead character Mitch, played by Matt Schumacher, driving his car. The other actors lent their voices to the radio in his car, reading their lines offstage. The melodical, calming voice of Nate Crawford was that of the main radio show host, who told a variety of stories to Mitch and the audience. The show blurs the lines of reality and dreaming, as Mitch starts to notice the radio voice talking about things from his own life. Phil masterfully brought radio entertainment to the stage and pulled the audience in with his poetic and eerie script.
Tim’s show, Owe My Heart! was a musical he wrote and composed himself about a man whose day is disrupted by the unsettling truth that someone out there owes him money. With a stellar cast of FET’s best comedians, the characters go on an adventure to a deli, make a friend from the sewer, and eventually confront the man who owes the lead, played by Kevin O’Malley, money. On top of the actors’ fantastic performances, I think what impressed audiences (and me!) the most was the entire band playing on the side stage complete with drums, keyboard, bass, and Tim himself on guitar! Owe My Heart! brought together all the best parts of theatre: comedy, live music, singing, and deli meats.

My show is titled Standing Water, a semi-autobiographical account of my experiences following Hurricane Katrina. The play opens with two girls packing to prepare for college and, in doing so, find mementos and memories of their months of evacuation. As the main character Bridget (played by Emma Keely) remembers her past, a physical manifestation of her memory tells stories of the Storm to the audience as a character named “Young Bridget” played by Lucy Skrebutenas. Through discussions with her two friends and eventually her mother, Bridget concludes that although Katrina was a traumatic experience, it was also an opportunity for growth and strength.
I did not intend for it to be a sad play. In fact, the characters joke about all the little things that happened during the evacuation like buying ice cream at lunch, getting toys in the mail, and not understanding their first periods. At one point, the character of Kelsey even asks “are we coping properly? Should we be… crying or something?”, to which the other characters respond that humor is a way of coping. Disaster is overwhelming and everyone responds differently, but I wanted this play to show that although we have different experiences in life, we feel pain and triumph quite the same.

I could not be more proud of the five actresses who participated in my play. They understood how much this piece meant to me and artfully combined reality with their own character interpretations. #KappaSaunaLouisiana
The semiannual Playwrights Festival is easily one of the most incredible events at Fordham: art written by students, directed by students, performed by students, enjoyed by students. I was honored to be a part of it, and I hope to see works by Tim and Phil in the fall!

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