SMC playwright wins regional competition

first_imgWhile most students spent their winter break relaxing and recovering from the stress of finals, Saint Mary’s senior Emily Schmitt received some surprising news that made her break more interesting than usual. In December, Schmitt won the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival’s (KCACTF) Region III full-length playwriting competition for her play “San Luis, 1989.” The play was read at the Region III festival, held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign January 3-7. “My play, ‘San Luis, 1989′ is an example of staged journalism,” Schmitt said. “This means that it is based on a true story that I conducted extensive research on.” Her play addresses issues of racial bias and government corruption in regards to poaching in San Luis, Colo., in 1989. Schmitt first learned about the story of San Luis through Susan Baxter, professor of theatre and journalism at Saint Mary’s. Schmitt and Baxter were paired together through a Saint Mary’s Student Independent Study, Teaching and Research (SISTAR) grant project, a program that provides funding for teams of students and professors to conduct research. Schmitt and Baxter collaborated intensely in their research of San Luis, making two trips to Colorado and discussing ways to bring real life events to a stage. “I am working on a book which teaches playwrights to use journalism theory; Emily is my case study,” Baxter said. “We could not be more grateful to Saint Mary’s. If not for SISTAR, the play would not have happened.” Baxter said the selective honor has gone to a graduate student in an MFA playwriting program for the past 10 years. Despite the success of the play thus far, Schmitt said she encountered challenges throughout the process that sometimes made it difficult to persevere. “The biggest challenge for me writing this play was simply not getting discouraged,” she said. Writing a play is a very lonely process, and after the fifth or sixth draft, you start to feel like it’s never going to work.  I call that the ‘dark place’ of the writing process.” But Schmitt said pushing past the isolation and struggles strengthened her skills as a playwright. “After [the ‘dark place’], something always gives way and the words start flowing out,” she said. “That is the best part of writing for me.”­ Baxter agreed that in spite of the obstacles Schmitt met, she was still able to develop as a writer and learn throughout the writing process. “Emily is a self-starter, so I did not have to work very hard at all,” she said. “She jumped in and tried every technique I threw at her.  Not all was useful, of course, but both of us learned mightily from the process.” Schmitt applied to several schools to earn her MFA in playwriting but will not be informed of acceptances until late February. In the meantime, her work with “San Luis, 1989” is not finished, as the play is currently in consideration for two national playwriting awards. “My play is currently competing with the other regional winners for the [Michael Kanin] National Student Playwriting Award,” she said.  “I am also up for the National Partners for the American Theater Playwriting Award, which is granted to a new and original voice in playwriting.” Regardless of the outcome of these awards, Schmitt said she is pleased with how things have turned out so far. She said she hopes more people will become better informed about the issues surrounding San Luis addressed in her play. “The best part about winning this award has really been spreading the word about what happened in San Luis,” she said. “Winning this award is a huge testament to the political power of the stage.”last_img read more

Congressman Reed’s Campaign Office Vandalized Overnight

first_imgCongressman Tom Reed (R – NY 23) and Sheriff Jim Quattrone In Jamestown, NY. Photo date: 10/16/18. Image by Justin Gould / WNY News Now.CORNING — Rep. Tom Reed’s Corning campaign office was vandalized sometime overnight.Reed took to Twitter and social media to condemn the act, saying violence is never the answer.“Last night a brick was thrown through our campaign office in my hometown of Corning causing extensive damage,” Reed announced on Twitter.“Thank God no one was hurt but this renews our commitment to stand up to this hatred and extremism. I will continue to try to unite us as violence is never acceptable,” he said. “This extreme behavior is unacceptable,” Reed said in reaction to the attack. “Volunteers are usually sitting right by that window. I am thankful no one was here when this happened, and no one was hurt.”This is another sad example of the radicalism we see every day from our opponents and the far left,” observed Matt Coker, spokesman for the campaign. It has to stop.”“I will continue fighting this extremism,” Reed said. “They bring violence, but we will keep standing against their hatred. We will stand proudly for what we believe in, be willing to listen to those who disagree, and in the end seek to unite our nation.  That is when we are at our best.”Reed also lauded the Corning Police Department, which is investigating the attack. “We have always had the back of our police, and I know they have our back as well.  We look forward to the results of their investigation and justice being done.”A four-term Congressman, Reed is seeking reelection and faces Democrat Tracy Mitrano, whom he defeated in 2018. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

See Motown Legends The Temptations & The Four Tops Groove on Broadway

first_imgThe Temptations and The Four Tops are joining forces on Broadway! We’ve got a first look at the two legendary Motown groups live at the Palace Theatre. The Temptations (above) features founding member Otis Williams with Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Joe Herndon and Bruce Williamson, while The Four Tops (below) includes original member Abdul “Duke” Fakir with Ronnie McNeir, Harold Bonhart and Lawrence Payton, Jr. Check out these two sensational groups singing “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “I Can’t Help Myself” and more Motown hits from December 29 through January 4, 2015! The Temptations and The Four Tops View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 4, 2015 Related Showslast_img read more

Sweden’s Duplantis soars 6.17m to break pole vault world record

first_imgTopics : His father Greg, who is his coach, was a talented US pole vaulter.His mother, Helena, is a former heptathlete and volleyball player in Sweden.After celebrating his victory, Duplantis, whose given name is Armand, went to the edge of the stands and embraced his mother. He broke the record on his sixth jump of the competition, having narrowly failed to clear the same height in Dusseldorf on Tuesday when he brushed the bar on his way down.Duplantis had the runway all to himself for much of the evening as none of the other six competitors could vault higher than 5.52m.The wunderkind in the pole vault who began setting age group records at age seven opened his day at 5.52m, then cleared 5.72, 5.92 and a indoor lifetime best 6.01 without a miss.Although born in the US state of Louisiana, he chose to represent his mother’s native country of Sweden.center_img World silver medalist Mondo Duplantis realized a lifetime dream when he broke the pole vault world record on Saturday by soaring 6.17 meters on his second attempt at a World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Torun in Poland.American-born Swede Duplantis broke Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie’s record of 6.16m set in February 2014 in Donetsk, Ukraine.”It’s something that I wanted since I was three years old,” said the 20-year-old. “It’s a big year, but it’s a good way to start it.”last_img read more