Four students from across the consortium will come together Thursday, March 26, to present their original scripts for the stage at the annual WORD! Festival. The event, which is free and open to the public, starts at 7 p.m. in the Red Barn at Hampshire College.
The productions address race and diversity based on playwright August Wilson's idea that theater can raise consciousness and politicize communities of color. The scripts were chosen by the Multicultural Theater Committee, which also offered artistic and dramaturgical support for students to prepare their work for the stage.
The featured scripts:
Harlem Vanguards: A Choreopoem, Jorrell Watkins, Hampshire College
Missing Pieces, Robyn Sutton-Fernandez, Mount Holyoke College
Marcus and Christopher, Chris Gonzalez, UMass Amherst
The RPO, Jordan Reed, UMass Amherst
The students whose scripts are featured in this year’s festival took part in a series of workshops with playwright and dramaturg Kim Euell, currently a visiting artist in playwriting at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
A graduate of Stanford and the University of Iowa’s Playwrights Workshop, Euell has headed play development programs at Center Theater Group’s Mark Taper Forum, the Tony Award-winning Hartford Stage Company, San Jose Repertory Theatre and The Robey Theatre Company where she was the California Arts Council’s Playwright in Residence. Her plays have been performed in cities across the country including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Detroit, Savannah and Louisville.
Since 1986, the Five College Multicultural Theater Committee, supported by the Five College theater chairs and Five Colleges, Inc., has worked to creatively foreground the experiences of people of color. In addition to the annual WORD! Festival and visiting artist residencies, the committee does this by awarding mini-grants for student-centered productions. For more information about Five College Multicultural Theater projects, visit www.fivecolleges.edu/multitheater