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

Team gives suggestions on coaching issue only when asked – Kohli

first_imgCAPTAIN Virat Kohli has clarified that the Indian team offers its suggestions to the BCCI only when asked, as the board continues to look for a new coach after Anil Kumble’s resignation 10 days ago.Kumble had stated his partnership with Kohli had become “untenable”, even though Kohli had said at the beginning of the Champions Trophy that there were “no issues whatsoever” between the two.Kumble later said in his resignation that he was informed by the BCCI that Kohli “had reservations with my style and about my continuing as head coach”.“From a personal point of view I can’t pinpoint anything or give details,” Kohli said a day before the third ODI against West Indies in Antigua.“We, as a team, contrary to a lot of perceptions, only voice our opinions when asked by the BCCI for suggestions. So that is something we have always gone through as a process and that’s something we respect as a team.“It’s been asked together, it’s not like segregation of anything so we respect that process and that same procedure, if and when it takes place, we’ll give our suggestions to the BCCI.“The suggestions are given to the board who handle the procedure and there’s no point saying anything out in the open because that is for us as a team to convey to the board as and when we are asked, and it’s something I’ve mentioned before.”It became clear in Kumble’s resignation that there were “misunderstandings” between him and Kohli and ESPNcricinfo had reported a month ago that the captain, and possibly a few other senior players, had expressed a lack of confidence in their coach.Kohli has hardly opened up on the issue since then, mainly saying he has “total respect” for Kumble as a cricketer, and did not want to divulge details, to “maintain the sanctity of the change room”.Kohli stated on Thursday that the team was a “very closely-knit unit” and the players got along with each “really well”.He also said their focus right now was on the ongoing ODI series against West Indies, which the visitors lead 1-0 after the first match was washed out.“Right now we have a series at hand and this is what we are focused on,” Kohli said.“The process (of selecting the coach) is taking place and that is something that is in control of the BCCI and the process has always been in place. We, as a team, are focusing on this series right now and we are not focused on anything else at the moment.Our priority is coming here and winning this series, and preparing for the games that lie ahead of us.”Once Kumble resigned, the BCCI decided to invite more applications for the position of the coach, extending the deadline to July 9.Among the newer applicants is Ravi Shastri, who had applied for the position last year too, but lost out after the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, picked Kumble for one year. (ESPNCricinfo)last_img read more