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Student playwrights to offer ‘New Works'

Published: Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010 9:20 a.m. CST

Northern Illinois University’s School of Theatre and Dance is introducing a new production into its Studio Series; “The New Works Festival” will premier original student works in the Stevens Building’s Corner Theatre today through Sunday.

This event provides a select group of this year’s playwriting students the opportunity to present their work as staged readings of 10-minute and one-act plays. The selected pieces, “The Doctor Will See You ... Eventually,” by Doug Kwiecinski, “What a World,” by Katie Johnson, “Mother to Son,” by Ryan Strong, and “Laurie and Alex ... In Bed,” by Carolyn Guido, will be followed by an audience feedback session with the playwrights.

Through the staged reading format, the audience will experience the pieces without the frills of a lavish, full-scale production, allowing the playwrights’ words the chance to take center stage.

“In a sense, it’s the purest performance of the text,” playwright and producer Carolyn Guido said in a news release. “Do not expect actors standing and reading with music stands. We have incorporated blocking and each actor has developed the characters with the input of the playwrights. It will be very different than a ‘typical’ production for an audience used to NIU theatre, but it is still a great time.”

At the conclusion of each performance, the audience will have a chance to share their thoughts and feelings with the playwrights about their work.

“This gives us, as students, the opportunity to learn from our audience to improve our writing,” said Guido. “Also, it gives the opportunity for the audience to connect to the piece in a different way by learning the writers’ reason for writing the piece.”

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets can be purchased for $5 one hour before each performance at the Stevens Building box office, located on the DeKalb campus, behind the Pizza Hut and McDonald’s restaurants on West Lincoln Highway. For further information, contact the box office at 815-753-1600 or visit www.niu.edu/theatre. The box office hours are noon-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon-2 p.m. Friday and one hour before show time.

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