By Sarah Beck
With all of the programs SU has to offer, The Playwrights Performance is one that not very many students on campus know about. It is a unique program that’s run by students and has been a big part of creating original work. Every week a student can enter their play in and will get the chance to produce their art amongst their fellow peers. Depending on the show, a director, playwright, actor and technical designers are added to each show. A lot goes into the making of the overall product by the end of the rehearsals. The playwright gets to see their story they’ve written unfold in front of their very eyes without having to spend money and an extensive amount of time on getting it produced.
Most plays are anywhere from five to fifteen minutes long. The part about Playwrights that is most helpful is not the chance to be able to produce your own work, but being able to have feedback from the audience afterward. The advice that is received will help with the play’s overall development, which helps expand on how the playwright wants their “final dream production” of their piece to be. They also have festivals like “Valentine’s Day” and “Halloween Playwrights,” which are themed plays revolved around a certain genre. On top of that, they even have a “Playwrights Award Show” at the end of the year where the spectators vote for the best play that they think should win.
Back in late October, they produced a radio show that was held in the BSAC where audience members sat in the middle of the dark room to hear “Of Things Only Heard in Hell.” Some scripts that are written need technical aspects as well, which is why Junior, Danny Halpren, was a big aspect of the entire piece. He was the sound designer for the creepiness contained within the radio show. “The idea started as me wanting to scare people with audio. This was Playwrights first radio play. It took about four evenings for me to make the actual audio,” Music & Sound Production major, Danny Halpren explained. “I wanted people to be scared by the uncertainty, fire to wrap around people’s ears and thunder to hit them in the chest. I wanted people to feel engulfed by rain all from what they heard around them, sort of like sonic wallpaper.” It was a huge thriller to audiences and was a successful performance. Ideas like this and many others are amongst the produced pieces at Playwrights.
Playwrights takes place every Thursday night at 11:00 P.M. in various locations depending on what is available that week. If you’re interested in being involved with Playwrights as an actor, playwright, or a director, go on Facebook and like their Facebook page and sign up via Google Docs.