Theater Arts hosts Super Mega Molten Hot Lava New Play Festival – Sonoma State Star

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From frozen planets and sci-fi thrillers to a creative approach to Native American land stewardship, the Super Mega Molten Hot Lava New Play Festival was filled with innovative work from students in the Playwriting I and Playwriting II classes at SSU.

Students in these classes presented their work for the first time through Zoom Readings over the weekend to gauge an audience’s reaction to their work.

“Playwrights spend three months drafting ideas for plays, then writing them, then rewriting them… At some point, however, you have to read the play so that an audience understands what works… depending on what works. what we hear and learn at the festival the playwrights will continue to rewrite, ”Scott Horstein, director of the festival and theater studies program at SSU, wrote in an email.

According to the students who showed their work, everything from writing the play to producing it on Zoom was exciting.

“My writing process for my piece, Fire 101, has been touching. The traumatic blaze from the monument fires that passed through my family’s property haunted me at the start of the fall semester of 2021… I was able to personify all of my emotions into characters, who now act like a living room, ”Tiffani wrote Lopez in an email.

Asked about their favorite part of the process, third-year playwright and theater major JP Lloren said writing the story was the best part of the experience.

“Creating each character with a fairly simple but compelling personality was just a joy. I’m used to writing about established characters but not original characters. Having people in the roles that I create is weird, even. if I trust the cast to make it happen, ”Lloren wrote.

Character development was a remarkable part of the process for another Seawolf playwright.

“You want your ideas to make sense on paper… [My] the favorite part should just be thinking about how certain characters interact with each other in certain situations, ”playwright Sean Wilson wrote in an email.

John Ruzicka, Principal Drama Major, Playwright and Director, said: “It’s always exciting to hear your own work written and read aloud. “

In her third year majoring in Earth Sciences and performing at the festival, Stormi Martin wrote: “It’s a little intimidating once the scripts come out and you realize you’re playing a character that someone created for you. the very first time. ”

The collaboration was really important for the festival. The students worked together on everything from the writing process to the staging of each other’s plays.

“A lot of people in the class who wrote plays came forward as directors or actors for others, and it was really exciting to see the same people you knew in class now working on your play! Freshman and playwright Rylan Valdepena wrote in an email.

“We know that each of our plays is in good hands, whether we are playing for each other or directing for each other, each of us has done our part and only showed the most. great mutual support, ”Ruzicka wrote in an email.

According to Horstein, you can look for a number of student scripts that will come to life at another festival in the spring.

“Some will submit their pieces for ‘Power Lines’, our spring piece festival, where we take a couple of short student pieces and make them live productions,” he explained.

For more information, visit the Department of Theater website.


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