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March 13, 2008
New Works Festival Removes Barriers for Play Development
Among the 11 plays that were selected for this year's New Works Festival at College of the Canyons, one of them was submitted by award-winning playwright, Mark Charney from Clemson University in Southern Carolina. But because a play must be read and discussed with the director and playwright before it can take the stage, festival director David Stears will video-conference a class play reading at College of the Canyons with Charney, across the country.
"From my experience, this has never been done before," said Stears. "This technology is nothing new, but this is the first time it is being used in this fashion. We are removing one of the barriers to collaboration, distance."
The first reading and video-conference of the play, "Shooting Blanks," will be at 9 a.m. on March 15, 2008, with a second reading followed by rehearsals in the beginning of April.
The session will be recorded for future use as an educational tool at both universities in English, theatre and playwriting classes.
Charney is an award-winning playwright, who has had plays produced in New York and across the country. Charney is also the Department Chair for the Theatre Department at Clemson University in South Carolina.
"If is it successful, we will no longer be restricted by location, and folks can find themselves working more diligently and more specifically to revise and reinvent their plays," said Charney, who is also the artistic director of WordBRIDGE, a playwright's laboratory sustained through a partnership between the Department of Performing Arts at Clemson University and the Generous Company, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and producing works for stage, film, and on line media.
"It's a daring move, and an exciting one," added Charney.
The New Works Festival will run from May 21 to 26.