This event, one for playwrights, directors, actors and spectators, celebrates student talent. Marcia Legere, once a UW-Madison student playwright and later a successful theater professional, submitted to and won the first Wisconsin Playwrights Contest that led to a performance at the Wisconsin Union Theater in 1945. Legere gave a second life to the Wisconsin Playwrights Contest more than 20 years ago with a generous contribution for this free festival of one-act plays at Wisconsin Union Theater.
Read about it in the Isthmus.
This year’s winning plays include:
Only a Good Guy by Jeff Casey, directed by Allie Frank
Boy meets girl. Boy meets boy. Boy meets gun. If they don’t kill each other first, they might live happily ever after.
Jeff Casey is a PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies. His research interests include gender and sexuality in modern American theatre, media and cultural studies. His original plays and performance work have been featured at UW-Madison’s University Theatre Open Stages, the UW Arts Institute’s Inside Story Festival, and the 2013 Wisconsin Triennial. He co-directed Rainbow Bookstore’s 2013 production of Voices of a People’s History of the United States.
Super by Kerry Billings, directed by Ethan Schmidt
It’s not easy living with an amateur supervillain. After being fed up with his roommate Eric for far too long, Kevin decides to use his ultimate weapon—common sense. A goofy superhero romp that contrasts the fantastical battle of good versus evil and reality.
Kerry Billings is a junior studying Theatre and English. This is her sixth play to be produced, and her first comedy. Normally known for her terrifying horror plays, Kerry’s previous works include Ladder Man, Imaginary, and Rain, Rain. When she’s not writing up her next script, Kerry can be found hanging out with family and friends, doodling, rushing to class, or listening to history themed musicals.
Love is in the Err by Isaac Ama, directed by Becca Haven
Love is in the Err is a comedy about a couple and that discovers love isn't as perfect as one would like to believe. A romantic night at an art gallery quickly turns to chaos when two very different plans clash and an eccentric friend ends up stuck in the middle. When the smoke clears, and the night comes to an end, the two must decide what's become of their relationship.
Isaac Ama is a senior double-majoring in English (Creative Writing) and Comm Arts (Radio, Television, and Film). In the past he has worked mostly on poetry and short stories. This festival is his debut for playwriting, but he plans to continue writing plays in the future.
Shelter in Place by Laura Farrell-Wortman, directed by Mary Finedore
At their father's wake, sisters Hannah and Gwen are avoiding their family and hoarding appetizers. Each is handling their grief in different ways than the other, and in different ways than they imagined they would before his death. Ultimately they struggle to accept each other and to accept their own relationship with their late father.
Laura Farrell-Wortman is a PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies. She is currently at work on a dissertation exploring Irish theatrical responses to the 2008 financial crisis. She has worked as a dramaturg and literary assistant with theatres including the Abbey Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, Forward Theater and the Activate: Midwest New Play Festival. Shelter in Place is her first play.
Black Rose by Ashley Thomas, directed by Niccole Carner
Black Rose is a play about truth and friendship. Breanne and Tammie celebrate their sexuality by reminiscing over their past stories, some sweeter than others. Just two days into their winter break, they build a bond they never knew they had.
Ashley Thomas is a graduating senior hailing from the horizons of Harlem, New York. She is a Social Work major with an emphasis in Community Organizing. An artist that intends on writing openly and frankly about her life, Ashley is even better at expressing herself through her love of frying chicken. She hopes to go to graduate school to teach and run her own community theatre company as a means of social change.