Theatre Department presents original plays and monologues

Theatre Department presents original plays and monologues

April 12, 2012
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

The Maryville College Theatre Department will present “TWELVE x TEN x TWO,” a two-night production of 12 original 10-minute plays and monologues written by students.

Members of Lisa Soland’s playwriting class will perform their monologues on Fri., April 27 and Sat., April 28 at 8 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Haslam Family Flex Theatre.

The plays are free and open to the public.

“TWELVE x TEN x TWO will be a very exciting event to attend as an audience member,” said Soland, professional playwright and adjunct instructor of theatre at Maryville College. “There's nothing more thrilling than to watch theatre being developed right before your eyes. Stage readings like this are a primary tool for the playwright. It allows us to focus on the writing right up to the very minute of the presentation without having to worry about all the other details required by a full production.”

Plays to be performed:

- Jacob Bajer, Head First: A bartender and his friends wind down at the end of the night as an odd, old man provides insight on the bartender's soul.

- Sarah Bond, For the Sake of the Baby: Two exes discuss the future of their baby while reminiscing moments of their past relationship together.

- Caitlin Rose Campbell, Bethany & Jade A.K.A. PB&J: Two best friends struggle to agree on a plan of action after finding out that all their food has disappeared on their hiking trip.

- Walker Snow Harrison, Neurological Anatomy: Two young women stress about medical school and the future while studying for an exam at their unique job.

- Cameron Hite, Move-In Day: A couple of new college roommates get to know each other a little bit too well. Charlie and Greg (the roommates) become closer than they imagined after traveling the fast and confusing roller coaster known as ‘friendship.’

- Rachel Jarnagin, Missed Cues: Kelly and John are two gossiping techies in charge of a production of Romeo and Juliet. Little do they know, that one missed cue will turn this whole production upside down.

- Joyce Leo, A Higher Calling: The play features a nursing home resident in the throes of a silent stroke reliving her younger days with an aide and dialing a wrong number to find herself engaging in a revelatory conversation with a young mother and father as higher powers are at work.

- Joseph McBrien, The Problem with Girls: The play is about a young man who is the only one of his siblings to be neither engaged or married, and he begins to tell his parents why he doesn't think marriage is right for him.

- Daniel Noles, Angel: Through the kindness of a stranger, a young teen is given the courage to finally come out to his parents.

- Leslie Owle, The Longest Walk: A young woman's perfect wedding day is interrupted by her father trying to force his way back into her life.

- Emily Queen, The Last Customer: A pet store employee grows anxious as the day comes to an end, trying to find a good home for their last bunny so that it will not be purchased by the local chemical testing lab.

- Randy Springer, Company Benefits: A supervisor and his model employee grapple with the harsh realities of the great recession when the employee requests an advance to stave off the loss of his home.

Students in Soland’s playwriting class this semester submitted monologues written in the class to MonoSlam, a monologue competition in Los Angeles, Calif. Out of 12 students’ submitted monologues, five were accepted. Professional actors performed these original pieces on April 6 and 7 at The Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood.

Soland said the opportunity is a great experience for students.

“It's one thing to teach playwriting in a college-type environment, but it’s another thing entirely to open up the doors of that college and introduce the outer world of playwriting to your students by bringing that outer world right into the classroom,” Soland said. “I knew the value in teaching these young playwrights how to execute a submission for a contest, but I had no expectation that any of them would actually be accepted.”

The accepted monologues include: Leslie Owle’s "Do You Know Him?" with Susan C. Hunter performing; Joseph McBrien’s "Experience In War," with Patrick O'Connor performing; Emily Queen’s "Kmart Beauty," with Asunta Fleming performing; Cameron Hite’s "Sticky Situations," with Paul Cuneo performing; and Rachel Jarnagin’s "Chacos," with Michelle Cuneo performing.

“This is very exciting, and it’s also a good lesson in how we must approach our work by simply doing the work, without the worry or expectation of a positive end result,” Soland said. “As a writer, the work itself must be the reward - that is what we have control over and only that. But every now and then, life surprises you, and in come pouring the lovely external rewards. Five of these 12 students' monologues were chosen to participate in this MonoSlam show in Los Angeles. I suppose it's not too unusual, but I'll tell you what … it doesn't happen every day.”

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,197.