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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Playwriting entry winners to be shown in SE festival

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By Elaine Bonilla/se news editor 

SE students Savanna Zambrana and Clinton Riggins IV rehearse for the play Being Found, written by Jamie Mendez, a student who was one of the winners of the SE Campus playwriting contest. Haylie Jones/The Collegian
SE students Savanna Zambrana and Clinton Riggins IV rehearse for the play Being Found, written by Jamie Mendez, a student who was one of the winners of the SE Campus playwriting contest. Haylie Jones/The Collegian

Five 10-minute plays chosen in a playwriting contest will be performed during the New Play Festival 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13-16 and 1:30 p.m. Feb. 15-16 in the C.A. Roberson Theatre on SE Campus.Pert Durapau, SE speech and drama associate professor, mentioned the festival idea during a meeting, and the other faculty members liked it. She then proposed it to liberal arts dean Jerry Coats, who supported it and involved the English department in the project.

The playwriting contest was an assignment for some classes, and fliers were put up around campus.

“This is a unique way for student writers to showcase their work,” Durapau said.

Jamie Mendez, one of the winners of the contest, wrote Being Found, a story about a car accident victim who ends up in a wheelchair. He becomes depressed because his girlfriend left him, but he finds love elsewhere when he least expects it.

Mendez’ passion is movies, which led him to become a film major.

“I’ve tried changing my major, but ultimately, I keep coming back to film,” he said.

James Mulligan submitted his play, One Mark Off, as an assignment for his creative writing class.

“I knew about the assignment all semester because it was on the syllabus. But when it came down to writing it, I really wanted to win,” he said. “I was very excited when I got the email saying I won. I thought someone was messing with me.”

Achieving the Dream was the theme for the contest, and a different faculty member will direct each play. The playwrights have been encouraged to participate in casting, have input in performances and adapt their scripts for the stage.

“A committee of theater and English faculty read all 17 plays and discussed the plays,” drama instructor Angela Inman said. “Which would be most within the Achieving the Dream theme? Which plays had the capacity to be on stage?”

After that, the top five plays were chosen, and auditions began for casting. Each performer read various roles, and the bartering between directors began. Performers were allowed to take on up to two roles.

“Many of the plays were good screenplays, but the ones that were chosen were great for theater and something that could be completed in 10 minutes,” The Scholarship director Paul Fiorella said. “The script stayed the same, but there were a few times we had to make it so the audience understood the stage direction, but we didn’t change the story.”

Mendez is currently involved in the production of his play and shares his ideas with director Megan Haratine.

“She is great, and I like how she already knows exactly what I want,” Mendez said.

Mulligan is going to see the performance with his night class when it comes out.

“I don’t think any of my classmates or even my teacher knows my play won,” he said. “They will find out during the performance.”

Following the performances, the audience can discuss the plays. Admission is free for TCC students, faculty and staff, $3 for non-TCC students and seniors and $6 for the general public. For more information, call 817-515-3372.

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