Play pitch


“Committee members, I totally have cake,” announced a fellow University Theater (UT) member as she breezed into the Frances X. Kinahan Third Floor Theater 10 a.m. Saturday. Treats in hand, she settled in with the rest of the eight-person governing group, UT director Heidi Coleman, and a dozen other UT-ers to hear six student directors pitch shows for winter quarter. Contenders included an eight-women dance show called The Lonely Ones; Frank McGuinness’s graveyard drama Carthaginians; the 1960s Joe Orton farce What the Butler Saw; a student-written piece, but I cd only whisper, exploring a character from Ntozake Shange’s play for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf; classic musical The Fantasticks; and Sylvia, a comedy about a man and his beloved dog.

The culmination of an intense selection process—students submitted lengthy proposals before Saturday’s public presentation—the meeting gave directors a last chance to sell their ideas and answer questions. “Seven people living in a graveyard—pretty nifty,” said fourth-year Phoebe Duncan, planning to stage Carthaginians as part of her BA paper. “What is really important about this piece, for you and the UT community?” Coleman asked the directors, noting that she did not want the “intellectual” answer. “The world can burn you,” responded Fantasticks hopeful Daniel Sefik, “and this play is sincere.” What the Butler Saw submitter Will Fulton had a different goal: “to rip the establishment a new one for being the way it is.”

After 45 minutes of presentations, the committee retired—with its cake—to an undisclosed location to make decisions. And the winners of winter stage slots, posted online Saturday evening, were dancer Kate Blomquist (The Lonely Ones), Duncan (Carthaginians), and student playwright Kristiana Colón (but i cd only whisper).


Photo: The Francis X. Kinahan Third Floor Theater, quiet before UT members arrived Saturday morning.

October 30, 2006