‘Page-to-Stage’ to showcase original plays at Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College
March 24, 2009
Playwrights in the theater program at the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College will present two evenings of readings to obtain feedback on their original plays. “Page-to-Stage New Play Readings” is an opportunity for the writers to hear their dialogues spoken out loud and get input from actors and audience members.
A full-length play by Manassas resident Mary Beane will be presented on April 2 at 7 p.m., and five 10-minute plays will be read on April 3 at 8 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public in Colgan Theater at the campus (6901 Sudley Road, Manassas). To learn more, contact Kathryn O’Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Beane’s play “Waterman” is the story of an 18-year-old girl and the small, close-knit fishing community where she lives. The community experiences an influx of retirees who buy up the waterfront, build homes, and upset the local culture and economy. The main character struggles to determine her future while trying to preserve the generations-old way of life and physical environment in the face of family loss and the encroaching pressures of land development and clashing lifestyles.
“The play was inspired by my experience growing up in a rural community where you have very few choices for employment,” said Beane who is originally from Miskimon, a small farming community in Northumberland County, Va. “If unsuited for the family business, you usually have to move away to seek opportunities elsewhere, straining at best and cutting at worst your ties to the community. It’s a life changing decision.”
One of the 10-minute plays slated for April 3 is “The Sun Also Sets” by Micah McFarland of Manassas.
“My play is about two co-workers who are forced to deal with a problem that has been haunting them for more than a year,” said McFarland, an aspiring filmmaker. “I want the audience to realize the importance of redemption and to not wait until tomorrow to solve today’s problems because you never know when your chance will be taken away.”
Micah’s brother Nathan McFarland also wrote a play, “Walled Garden,” that will be previewed that evening.
Margaret Poethig of Arlington will present two 10-minute plays. “The Flagger” tells the story of a veteran worker on a road construction safety crew who struggles to accept that he may no longer be fit for duty. Poethig explained her inspiration for the play. “On a trip last summer, my boyfriend and I ran into a lot of road construction and I began to imagine what the life of a flagger must be like, holding a sign and directing traffic all day long. At one stop, I interviewed a flagger and he said several things that gave birth to my main character, Virgil.”
“Countdown,” also by Poethig, is about a woman determined to preserve her daughter’s future by persuading her husband to abandon a boy he fathered with another woman. “I hope the audience can embrace the main character and her struggle, whether or not they agree with her actions,” Poethig said.
“Mind Web” by Dick Creps of Manassas will also be read on April 3. Creps has written several plays that have been produced at the Manassas Campus.
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College’s Web site, www.nvcc.edu.