UH playwrights' work finally
makes its way to the stage
As the props are placed and the lights
dim, words and actions are staged to illustrate the ideas of an aspiring
playwright. One would think the chance
to debut a written work in such a skilled
manner is far from achievable, but for students of the Edward Albee New
Playwrights Workshop 2002, the
hopes have become reality.
Pin Lim/ The Daily Cougar
Community actor Ted Pfister
(left) and UH theater graduate Mary-Margaret Allen rehearse for A Work
in Granite, one of five plays chosen by Edward
"I think we can help (playwrights) see
their work with honesty and clarity," Albee said. "Remember, a play is
only theoretical until a writer knows how the
Albee, a renowned playwright, helms the
project and contributes his knowledge to the program, which is intended
to enrich the learning experience for
"Mr. Albee has a long reputation for encouraging
young playwrights and he puts a tremendous amount of time into the workshop
every year he has
come," graduate student and producer of
this year's workshop Carol Worsnop said.
"(Albee) chooses plays for development
and Dr. Berger (director of UH's School of Theatre) recommends directors
for the plays," Worsnop said. "Then
Mr. Albee will match up playwright and
director during the beginning of the spring semester."
The playwrights whose work will be featured
are Dennis Young (White Phosphorous), Richard Epley (Trifecta), Jason Price
(Days Like This), Jere
Pfister (A Work in Granite) and James
D. Porto (Reddeathdotcom).
Both UH students and community actors are
invited to casting auditions.
"The plays have gained a reputation over
the years so that people who work in the Houston area watch out for the
auditions and specifically come out
for them," Worsnop said.
The aspiring playwrights work closely with
Albee and the directors to ensure that their work is expressed the way
in which they intended.
"We just make sure the directors know it
isn't their job to change the writers' work," Albee said.
An experienced cast, however, benefits
both the production and the writer's work.
"Ultimately it's the playwrights' show
that the directors are interpreting, but when you have intelligent actors,
their input can be very helpful to the
process," Worsnop said.
The cooperative effort also gives students
of the theater department a chance to experience their craft on another
"It gives our crew and actors and stage
managers an opportunity to work in a professional environment," Worsnop
said. "For many of them, this is their
first time they've worked in such an environment.
"Theater is the ultimate collaborative
art and this is an opportunity for students to experience the entire theater
UH's School of Theatre and the Stages Repertory
Theatre will present the five plays from Friday through April 28 at the
Stages Repertory Theatre. The
theater is located at 3201 Allen Parkway.
For more information, call the UH School
of Theatre box office at (713) 743-2929 or Stages at (713) 527-8243.
UH School of Theatre's Jim Huston and Tom
Prior will showcase the talent of their First Year Acting class from 2
to 4:30 p.m. this Friday and April 26 in
the Jose Quintero Theatre Lab on campus.
The students will perform 10- to 15-minute
plays as part of a grade for the acting course.
Admission is free.