Playwrights get 15 minutes of fame

Visiting assistant theatre professor Tom Coash, second from right, discusses with the actors of “Kiss Her Back” how they should exit after their play is done during rehearsal at Gordon Wilson Hall on Sunday. The students will perform tonight as part of the “Famous for 15 Minutes: New Play Festival.”

Kevin Allen

Students will get their time in the spotlight tonight with the theatre department’s “Famous for 15 Minutes: New Play Festival.”

The festival will consist of seven plays, each no longer than 15 minutes and written by a student, said Thomas Coash, visiting assistant theatre professor and director of the festival.

Coash said he’s arranged festivals like this in other places, and it never stops being entertaining to him.

“I’m always sort of amazed by the vast imagination of people in the world,” Coash said.

Seven plays were selected out of 20 plays submitted, and the performers, directors, playwrights and stage crews only had one week to get the newly written plays ready for the stage, Coash said.

“It isn’t so much about the reading at the end as the rewriting along the way as playwrights got to hear their plays performed,” Coash said.

The time crunch presented a challenge, but it also inspired students to give their best effort, including Louisville sophomore Max Newland.

“It really motivates you,” Newland said. “It puts the fire under your ass.”

Mayfield senior Jamie Lopez, director of two of the plays, said he thinks this experience has been good for all the students involved because it brought so many people together.

“Normally people are just cast as actors, or just a techy or a stage manager for a show,” Lopez said. “But this, everyone works together so intimately. I think it gives everyone a better idea of the whole process.”

Lopez said this festival is the most fun he’s had in his four years at WKU.

“I think it is absolutely necessary to do it next year,” Lopez said. “I don’t even think it should be an option; it needs to happen every year now.”

Bowling Green sophomore Alexandra Davidson, creator of the play “Safety Blanket” and performer in two other plays, said she thinks the audience will enjoy the connection they’ll have with these plays.

“It is so unique,” Davidson said. “I think people should come see these plays written by their classmates as opposed to plays written by other people, a lot of times dead people.”

Coash said people should come to the show because an audience is necessary for the performance.

“They’re almost as much part of the process as everyone else,” Coash said.

The show ran last night and will be performed again tonight at 8 p.m. in the Gordon Wilson Hall Theatre. It’s free and open to the public.