Mercer’s playwriting class will put on six 10-minute student-directed and student-written plays this month, collectively entitled “An Evening of Original Works.”
The show runs from April 14-17 at 7:30 p.m. with a 2:30 matinee Sunday.
Annie Fair, a theatre major who took the class last semester, is looking forward to the final production, although producing her play “Cookies” has taken a lot of work.
“The most difficult part about producing the plays was finding a way to stage them without building a set,” Fair said.
She further explained that it took a great deal of effort to make sure that the stage pieces used for the production weren’t too heavy or difficult to move. Long transitions between the short plays would have been distracting and could have taken away from the magic of the productions.
Building the stage, however, accounted for only a fraction of Fair’s stress. In addition to being a playwright, Fair also held the title of assistant director, stage manager, flight director and co-lighting designer.
“I’m very busy,” Fair said. “But I love what I do, so it’s worth it.”
“Cookies” focuses on the importance of relationships: familial, romantic, good and bad. Fair’s play aims to allow the audience to experience different kinds of love and the requirements of love, such as sacrifice and acceptance.
“It has some sad moments and funny parts,” Fair said, “and I think everyone will be able to find something or someone in it that they can relate to.”
Kaitlin Faulk, Joseph Jackson, Chiyanne Wilson, Stevie Watson and Noelle Fancher will star in Fair’s play.
While she is not working on her own play, Fair enjoys seeing the actors rehearse and unveil the stories in the work of the other five playwrights.
“I don’t have a favorite play,” Fair said. “Since they were all written by different people, each play has a different style or sense of humor. They’re all so different and that makes it fun.”
Fair’s passion and expertise have also been helpful to junior theatre and psychology major Katie Clay, whose work will also be featured in the showcase.
Clay, who recently played Hedda in the Mercer Players’ production of “Hedda Gabbler,” serves as the director of the show. As an actress, Clay had little experience in directing and producing a play, but she credits Fair with “making the transition painless.”
“Playwriting was a class and directing was a class,” Clay said, “but actually putting [those skills] to use is something completely different. And I'm really excited to have the opportunity to do both.”
Clay’s play, which focuses on emotional abuse and its similarities to physical abuse, will serve as a transition piece linking the plays together.
Though the audience won’t see Clay and Fair in action, their stories are sure to make viewers laugh, cry, and applaud them on a job well done.
Tickets are $5. Each show will be performed at Tattnall Square Center for the Arts.
Mercer Playwriting class to present ‘An Evening of Original Works’