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Volume 71, Issue 137, Friday, April 28, 2006

Life & Arts

Workshop continues with 'Texas Exodus'

Graduate student finding the playwriting process all over again

The Daily Cougar

Education graduate student Judith Switek's Texas Exodus is being presented at 8 p.m. Saturday night in the Jose Quintero Lab Theatre in the Wortham Theatre.

Phoenix by Lou Amyx, Smitten by Greg Hundemer and Happy Hour by Joe Barnes are the other plays being presented as part of the Edward Albee Playwright Workshop series performances.

This year, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson oversaw the selection process. Wilson wrote Talley's Folly, Hot L Baltimore and Fifth of July.

The Edward Albee Playwright Workshop continues today through Sunday at the Jose Quintero Lab Theatre in the Wortham Theatre Building.
Gregory Bohuslav/The Daily Cougar

"Working with students on this year's plays has gone very smoothly," Wilson said in a press release. "These productions are all in very good shape, and the actors are well cast in their roles. I am very pleased with the students' progress."

For students doing the workshop, it allows their work to be seen and heard such as Switek, who said she is happy to be back writing plays after being away from it for so long. Her playwriting career began when she was an undergraduate at New York University. She earned a bachelor's in playwriting in 1993.

Switek said she likes playwriting because it's about the characters and dialogue.

"I really have to listen to the characters in my head for a little while before I put the words on paper," Switek said. "I really listen to them."

Her play is a five-character play and is described as "a delightful look into the outrageous love affair of a modern day Bonnie and Clyde," Switek said.

Switek said the play is more about a couple hating each other so much, and they need to remember why they like each other in the first place. The inspiration came from the song "Take the Money and Run" by the Steve Miller Band, Switek said. She said wonders what happened to the people after the song ended.

Switek said she is proud of her work and is excited to be in the workshop. Her advice for those who want to be playwrights is to listen to how people speak.

"It's an incredible opportunity to work with Lanford Wilson. And it's been very fun; it's fun getting back into playwriting because I've been away from it for so long," Switek said. "It's fun to watch the whole process and watch the plays come alive."

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