Enjoy hearing the winning entries from the Striking Prose and Play Right Prize Competitions on March 14 at 5 pm in the David Spinks Theatre. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
First place for the Play Right Prize went to Baz Skinner (BFA Dramatic Arts major) for her play “Dance Party,” which creatively handles the topic of Parkinson’s disease in a serious and humorous fashion. The jury included Dr. Christopher Grignard (Dramatic Arts Faculty), Andrew Legg (MFA Dramatic Arts candidate; director of The Neverending Story) and Natascha Hainsworth (General Manager at New West Theatre; BFA Dramatic Arts ‘05). The jury commented that, “The script’s telling of this original story is touching, but far from being a pity party for the young woman who must now learn to adapt to the unexpected change in her life, which includes a saddening, yet believable shift in the relationship with her best friend.”
The first place prize in the Striking Prose category is Krista Cote (BA English major) for her story “Same Code.” The three member jury made up of English department faculty, Dr. Wendy Faith, Dr. Maureen Hawkins, and Dr. Jay Gamble said Cote’s story is a compelling and powerful voyage into the mind of a homeless child. The strength of this piece is its consistent narrative from the view of the child that reveals, through the child’s innocence and ignorance, a dark tragedy.
Both first prize winners receive $1,500 and the opportunity to share their winning entries at a public reading on Thursday, March 14 at 5 pm in the David Spinks Theatre. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend. The evening includes a reception and cash bar.
Second place in the Play Right Prize competition went to Ryan Reese (BFA Dramatic Arts major) for his play “Ascending the Blue,” which powerfully depicts the conflicts between a Major and a nineteen-year old French Canadian soldier as the two endure the horrors of war in 1864. Third place went to Makambe Simamba (BFA Dramatic Arts major; 2012 first place Play Right Prize winner) for her play “Catchin’ Water – Backflow” that poetically transports its audience to the Cayman Islands in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan hits. They receive awards of $750 and $250 respectively.
This year’s Striking Prose jurors found it too hard to decide on a second and third place story, so two second prize awards were presented to Karen Richardson (BA student ) for her story “8932 Gregory Drive, at 6 a.m. on a Foggy Morning" and Makambe Simamba for her story “The Mouth of the Walk.” Richardson and Simamba split the second and third prize awards and each receive $500.
The $5,000 in prize money is generously donated each year by U of L alumnus, Terry Whitehead, the competition aims to encourage excellence and development in student playwriting.