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Volume 71, Issue 83, Monday, February 6, 2006

News

Miranda Project offers forum for playwrights

Plays read, critiqued by actors, audience members

by RACHAEL SEELEY
The Daily Cougar

A group with strong ties to the UH community is providing aspiring playwrights a forum to hear their works read aloud and respond to constructive criticism from audience members.

The Miranda Project held a reading Saturday in The Honors College Commons of The Rose Garden, a play about a dysfunctional family by aspiring Austin playwright Hugh Craig.

"It was really good, better than we all expected," Tanya Lunstroth, co-founder of The Miranda Project and secretary in The Honors College said. "I had to tell people it was time to go."Lunstroth said the audience was attentive and after the reading asked the playwright interesting questions.


Tanya Lunstroth and Steve Bullitt read Saturday from the play, The Rose Garden, by Hugh Craig. The reading was held in The Honors College Commons and sponsored by the Miranda Project.
Nada Elsayed/The Daily Cougar

The Miranda Project is headed by a group of theater enthusiasts who gather monthly to read plays, monologues and poetry by up-and-coming writers. Afterwards, audience members and actors offer feedback on the work.

"We want the audience to participate because the purpose is to let the author hear his work read aloud like you would hear it on stage," Holly Hildebrand, who started the Miranda Project nearly 13 years ago with the help of Lunstroth, said.

The two met in 1993 at an Edward Albee Play Workshop when Lunstroth acted in two of the plays Hildebrand had written. 

The Miranda Project has been meeting regularly ever since. The next reading is expected to be in March, but the exact date is yet to be determined.

"We feel it's important to allow the playwrights to hear unguarded criticism or positive feedback on what they have written," said Sheila Howard, a producer for the group and a manager in The Office of Records and Registration.

"We have had the opportunity to read some very interesting plays," Howard said. "Each play is different and unique and each of the actors bring something different to the character they portray." 

The group is comprised of several members of the UH community, but is not exclusive to UH and encourages all interested persons to attend the readings. Admission is always free.

"Some of the people who read are actors, others are just people who like to read," Lunstroth, told The Daily Cougar in 2003. 

"It doesn't require a lot of time. We only have one rehearsal to time it, there's nothing to memorize, and most often the actors are very willing to do it, and it gives them exposure."

For more information about the project, contact Hildebrand at hollyhilde@aol.com or (281) 347-5541.

Completed plays can be sent to The Miranda Project, 22815 Market Square Lane, Katy, 77449.

Send comments to dcnews@mail.uh.edu

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