Word! A Five College Festival of staged readings (of recently written short plays or excerpts from them) builds on a highly successful model originated by the University’s New World Theater. The primary goals of the festival are to identify and nurture student writers who are engaging in multicultural themes and/or aesthetics; to increase contact between the departments of theater and the communities of color on the respective campuses; and to further Five College exchange through the mechanism of a rotating festival.
The writers of the works selected to be presented each year receive an award of $100 from the Five College James Baldwin Memorial Fund. The American writer James Baldwin spent several years at the five colleges as a Five College Distinguished Joint Faculty Appointee. Following his death in 1987, a memorial fund in his name was established by the Five College community. To date, over 100 students have been recognized with this award.
Word! is hosted by a different campus each year. it’s one of several activities supported by the Multicultural Theater Committee, which was established in 1986 by the chairs of the theater departments.