With a new year come new productions.
This semester, there is something brand new for talent-seekers and performance enthusiasts.
Out of the Box presents a new twist to student-led stage production.
With the Playwright in Residence Program, Out of the Box members choose one student playwright to create an original play. The development process begins at the start of each school year, leading to the play’s performance the following April.
Lily Kennedy, acting senior and junior artistic director for Out of the Box, was chosen as the playwright to kick-start the program. One of the main reasons she was chosen is that she led the charge in the program’s implementation.
Kennedy’s goal is to present a way for students to create original works while stressing the developmental process that accompanies creative writing.
“When a writer is first starting out, there can sometimes be a disconnect of how to turn a big idea into something physical on the page,” Kennedy said. “The Playwright in Residence Program will spend the first four months just helping the playwright develop their idea and put pen to paper. This will allow the writer to really figure out their voice, make mistakes, but still have a safety net.”
Kennedy proposed the idea to the Out of the Box committee in November, hoping that the program could begin in August. But she saw this spring semester as an opportunity to give the program a “trial run” and thought she would make a good first playwright. She has previous experience in writing and production as well as having already begun writing a play, so she felt the timing was perfect.
Kennedy picked Caitlin Gibbons, theater for young audiences junior, to direct the play.
“She’s a friend, but also passionate, creative and incredibly smart,” Kennedy said. “I feel that she is the perfect person to helm this play.”
The program was implemented as a way to provide opportunities for artists to grow, develop and expose their work, Gibbons said.
“Upcoming playwrights, like Lily, are now given a space and time to demonstrate all of their hard work and viewpoints in a way that benefits actors, students and viewers alike,” Gibbons said.
Their play is titled 2016: Her Story, Her Vote and centers on the unique views of 30 different women who were interviewed about the presidential election.
“This is not a partisan play,” Kennedy said. “Stories from women on both sides and of multiple backgrounds are featured. My goal for this play is to encourage others to listen to one another, especially when it comes to their political views. There has been so much hate lately from all sides, and I want to combat that with respect and love.”
2016: Her Story, Her Vote will be performed at 8 p.m. April 2 in the admin tower in Clara E. Jones Administration Building.