Monday, June 07, 2010
Contact: Sam Kincaid, Marshall University Theatre, 304-696-6395

4th annual New Works Festival begins June 17 at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Five new plays and an original film short by local and national playwrights will premiere Thursday-Saturday, June 17-19 in The New Works Festival 2010 at Marshall University.

The festival, presented by Marshall University Theatre Alliance and the Marshall University College of Fine Arts, will include both staged and un-staged readings.

All readings will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre of the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center.  Each evening’s readings will be followed by a discussion/question-and-answer session with the playwright, director and cast.  Participation is both welcome and encouraged.

Admission to this year’s festival is by donation on a nightly basis. All admission money goes towards the New Works Festival Fund in the Marshall University Foundation and is tax deductible. 

The schedule of events is as follows:

Thursday, June 17 – “Kiss Off by Jonathan Joy is the third in a growing series of 10-minute plays that revolve around an argumentative husband and wife and various holiday/special events.

The first two plays in that series – “The War on Halloween” and “An Inappropriate Christmas Story” – have been performed on stages in three West Virginia cities (Huntington, Charleston and Wheeling) and at the Wings Theatre in Greenwich Village in New York City.

In the latest entry, “Kiss Off,” Mark arrives home early to surprise his wife on their anniversary.  He could have never imagined how the tables would turn when he is the one left shocked at the end of evening.  It is a domestic comedy about love, marriage and irreconcilable differences.

“Coney” by David Johnston takes place on New York City’s Coney Island, where people from all walks come together and break apart. “Coney” is a new play/work in progress from David Johnston, author of the award-winning “Candy & Dorothy” and “Conversations on Russian Literature.”

Friday, June 18 – Marshall University Professor Kellie Bean’s “Close to Mourning” tells the story of a mother and daughter who confront a shared and painful secret that has nearly cost them their relationship. A story of a mother visiting her widowed, middle-aged daughter after a long separation, this play explores the pain of family secrets.

Closing out the Friday night performances is something for audiences who love musicals. “Effie Jean in Tahiti” by David Johnston, music and lyrics by Stephen Speights, tells the story of Princess Effie Jean who has made a bargain with Proteus, the Old Man of the Sea, and is now stuck in Tahiti guarding his jewels.

Boring! Even worse, she’s supposed to kill any strangers that land on the island, and the first one who shows up is her own brother. Can the wily brother-sister duo find a way to trick Proteus?

Saturday, June 19 – “The Date,” an original comedic short film written and directed by Mike Murdock, asks the question, “Can you think of anyone better to prepare you for a blind date than your two best friends?”  Maybe you should start looking now. 

Closing out this year’s festival is “War of the Welles,” by Michael Weber, which takes place on Halloween Eve 1938.  A shaken America struggles to recover from economic collapse as Hitler threatens the future of the Free World.

At 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, our nation is attacked ... by the planet Mars. An audacious “boy wonder” named Orson Welles has envisioned the most terrifying hour of radio ever presented and what emerges from the CBS airwaves that night will send an anxious population to the streets in mass hysteria.

It was indeed a War of the Worlds, pitting a daring, modern medium against a stunning abandonment of common sense. This is the true story of the legendary event that forever changed the rules of broadcasting while igniting the meteoric rise of an unbridled superstar.

Call 304-696-6395 for tickets and information on The New Works Festival 2010 at Marshall University.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197