Photo by Rick Massimo.
Last Wednesday, March 20th and Thursday, March 21st, I was at Gettysburg College participating in their Theatre Arts program's inaugural New Play Festival. Dr. Susan Russell directed and starred in a mostly student reading of my play, Our Man Beverly Snow. (One cast member was a local reverend and Susan read as Constable Jeffers!) Professor Kathryn Kawecki directed a student reading of Christine Evans' play, Weightless.
Our respective readings and post show discussions were quite successful and wonderfully productive. We had an enthusiastic and attentive audience of theater students and students who were friends of the casts. My cast included Joseph Donnella as Beverly Snow, Carl Jones as Reverend Frank Cook, Wes Jackson as Arthur Bowen, Maria Lawson as Maria Bowen, Kay-Chelle M. Waterton as Julia Snow, Angelo D'Amato as Andrew Laub, Brendan Morgan as Reuben Crandall, Susan Russell as Constable Jeffers and Audrey Bowler as Stage Directions.
While I won't be able to work on rewrites of Our Man Beverly Snow until after The Hampton Years has opened at Theater J, I'm excited to integrate all that I learned in development with these sharp, talented and generous folks at Gettysburg. Mainly, I'm letting go of the one location set, which will open up the world of the play in a useful, active and more compelling way. As a playwright, I had been interested in exploring the one location set, but it doesn't work for this play. After all, this is a revolution. There are several key participants and significant locations. This play is also begging for a darker, more lyrical tone and two more characters.
Photo by Christine Evans.
In addition to the reading, I lead a playwriting workshop with a handful of students and that wasy just wonderful. It was great to get to know them and where they were in both their academic and artistic journeys. It was also greats speaking with them about life as a playwright.
Overall, my time at Gettysburg was inspiring and rejuvenating. However, it was all too short! It was wonderful to be in an academic environment clearly supported by the larger institution. I hope to come back when I have more time not only to work with the students and faculty, but also to explore this amazing, historic city. I managed to take some photos of our time together and am happy to share them with you now.
Our Man Beverly Snow Rehearsal
Director and Playwright Discuss Casting Changes
Our Man Beverly Snow Green Room Gathering
Our Man Beverly Snow Reading and Post Show Discussion
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!