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Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Fall Term New Plays Workshop Approaches

Fall+Term+New+Plays+Workshop+Approaches

Before the start of Fall term this year, you may have seen an email that said something along the lines of “This is a submission drive for New Plays Workshop. Why am I getting this email? Because anyone can write a play!”

This is the mentality that sophomore Mei Zuch and sophomore Cole Songster, the co-coordinators of New Plays Workshop (NPW), continue to promote as we progress toward opening night.

On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, NPW will be held at 7:30 P.M. in Studio Theater, located in the basement of the Ford Center for Fine Arts (CFA). Both nights will contain different performances. NPW is free and open to the public.

“It’s pretty unedited,” Zuch said. “It’s just really interesting to see as an audience member… Literally anyone can do it. Like, literally anyone.”

The idea is to allow student playwrights the opportunity to hear their work read aloud and workshop it — hence the name New Plays Workshop. It provides a chance for students to get involved in the theater department in a casual way, rather than the responsibility of participating in a full performance. 

“If you’re interested, give it a shot! It’s easy, it’s fun. If you haven’t done much theater, or you’re new to the school, it’s kind of a nice venue to get introduced.” Songster said.

If students have other substantial time commitments, or aren’t certain if theater is right for them, they are given a chance to be involved. The maximum rehearsal time for each performance put on during NPW is ten hours, in order to ensure a standard of low-commitment.

“I directed as a first-year. I did not know my playwright at all, I did not know my actors at all, and so I got a totally outside perspective and I got to know it. Then I was able to give her feedback… So you get like, completely new perspectives, people that you don’t know, and I think that’s really cool. And really important,” Zuch said.

What brings a unique energy to this year’s workshop is the fresh faces of both NPW co-coordinators. They are learning along with the writers, directors, and actors who are participating.

“We also kind of get a degree of free-reign as to what it looks like in general, because New Plays Workshop has been a lot of different things over the years,” Songster said.

“For people thinking about seeing it this term, it’s really really cool to just listen to a lot of shows because there’s so much cool stuff that comes out of these plays and there’s so many interesting shows,” Zuch said.

Because the NPW provides a platform for new playwrights, actors, and directors, it can be a breeding ground for original and experimental work. NPW will also be held in the Winter and Spring terms.

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