IPF 2015: Interview with the Playwrights

14 Whitman students have a task ahead of them both daunting and seemingly insurmountable: to write a ten-minute play in 12 hours. “A ten-minute play?” You might ask.  “How is that challenging?” Well, folks, the challenge lies within the plots of these unwritten plays.  How can there be an interesting conflict and resolution in the time it takes to walk from North Hall to Penrose Library?  How can complex characters be built in a third of the time television shows get? These are just two questions that these persevering playwrights have to answer in the process of creating their plays.

In the rapid fire group interview that I had with these lovely people, I found out that the writers were excited – to sleep after the writing is finished, to complete a Clarette’s Challenge, and, for Haley Forrester, to read in-progress work “at four in the morning”.  Many are happy that they don’t have to stay up late alone for this endeavor.  Some were “speechless”; another uttered “Wow.”  Drew Schoenborn lamented that he’ll probably end up writing “two plays in the first two hours and [hating those] two and [having to] start again.”  The overall feeling, stated by Laura Rea, is that “it’s gonna be fun.”  After I asked them about where they planned to write, I received different answers.  Many of the playwrights wanted to write in the library together, like a study group for some hellish class.  Emily Carrick, however, planned to trek to one of her favorite spots in Walla Walla, a park just off-campus.  “It’s down Howard.  That’s where I go when I can’t think.  So, if I’m struggling with an essay or something, that’s where I’ll go.  I’ll walk to that park, every time.” she said.  Our conversation could have lasted for hours, but I had to leave to let them begin their challenge.

Once the scripts are complete, directors and casts of varying size will receive them at 9:30 a.m.  It is their task to prepare the plays for their premieres on the Alexander Stage by 8 p.m.  These endeavoring companies will be scattered all over campus, working for the whole day to memorize both lines and blocking, as well as compile costumes and props for their performances. Directors and playwrights alike will watch from the audience as their works debut.

The playwrights writing for the Saturday night performance are: Ryan Long, a Theatre major; Haley Forrester, a Theatre-Art double-major; Travis Wheeler, a Psychology major; Emily Carrick, an English major; Catherine Bayer, a Psychology major; Laura Rea, a Chemistry major; and Jordan Miller, “a soon-to-be French and Film double-major, but who knows?”

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The Language of Love Written by Travis Wheeler

Directed by Gus Thomas. Featuring: Robby Boyer, Jackson Clough, Maria Kajercline, Halley McCormick, Jen Pope, Haley Rockholt and Clara Wheeler.

Fingers Crossed Written by Jordan Miller

Directed by Dana Burgess. Featuring: Natalie Berg, Megan Gleon, Madeline Gold, Antonia Keithahn, Luk Koester, Samantha Tong, and Nina Vanspranghe.

Trial and Error Written by Ryan Long

Directed by Erin Kirkpatrick. Featuring: Molly Evered, Rich Hinz, Melissa Kohl, Teal Kurnie, Rande Moss, Helena Platt, and Kyla Rapp.

Coleslaw Written by Laura Rea

Directed by Sam Gelband. Featuring: Emma Chung, Ellen Ivens-Duran, and Hannah Zesch, Sarah Edwards, Nathaniel Larson, Ben Murphy, and Matthew Schetina.

6 Down Written by Catherine Bayer

Directed by Maya Kozarsky. Featuring: Cara Casper, Jessie Friedman, Danielle Hirano, Sabina Rogers, Grace Starr, Lauren Wilson, and Julie Zhu.

Defenses Written by Emily Carrick

Directed by Kathleen McKeegan. Featuring: Cara Drinkward, Marla Harvey, Hailey Hunter, Chloe Kaplan, Rowlin Lou, Dani Schlenker, and Catherine Yang.

Five Till Places Written by Haley Forrester

Directed by Matthew Fisher. Featuring: Robby Brothers, Emily Dotts, Dan Lovato, Nate Olson, Gillian Pope, Grace Pyles, Kristina Roy, and Sara Staven.

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