National Playwriting Program to honor two plays from Grand Valley

A student works with Max Bush, '72, on development of a play at Grand Valley
A student works with Max Bush, '72, on development of a play at Grand Valley
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The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival will honor two plays from Grand Valley State University at the Region III Conference, to be held January 8-12, at Saginaw Valley State University.

Grand Valley student Andrew Wernette’s play, “A Whale in Hilton Head,” is a finalist for the 10-minute play competition. All six plays selected as finalists in the competition will be auditioned, rehearsed, developed, and performed at the festival. Finalist playwrights (and their scripts) will be teamed up with selected student directors, student actors, student stage managers, and faculty advisor/mentors from schools throughout the region for a collaborative opportunity to take the original script from “page to stage.”

“An Identified Enemy,” by the distinguished playwright and Grand Valley alumnus Max Bush (’72), is a finalist for the Mark Cohen Award, which promotes the writing and production of new plays. As artist-in-residence at Grand Valley last fall, Bush developed his script with the aid of Iraq War veterans, and with a company of 25 students in a specially created 50-hour workshop. In November, Grand Valley launched the world premiere of the commissioned play that tells the personal stories of several Iraq War participants.

Erin Feiner, a sophmore theatre major at Grand Valley has been awarded a Meritorious Achievement Certificate for her work as costume designer for the December 2012 Performance Studio play, “Wasp.”

KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. Region III includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. All the plays entered for competition are read and ranked anonymously outside the region by a panel that includes at least three readers in every category. Several of the best and most diverse regional festival productions are showcased in the spring at the annual noncompetitive national festival at the Kennedy Center, all expenses paid.