Rebekah Suellau and Zdenka Turecek received top playwriting awards at the Kennedy Center Region IV American College Theatre Festival in Daytona Beach, January 31 to February 4. Both are students in the MFA Writing for Stage and Screen program.
The Pretty Girl Basket Toss written by Ms. Suellau won the region’s one-act playwriting award. “Our invited concert reading of [the play] was such a hit that one of the official respondents has asked me to stay in touch as I complete my revisions, as he would like to consider the piece for his university’s upcoming season,” says Suellau. Ms. Turecek’s ten-minute play, Somewhere in Between, won the region’s ten-minute play contest.
Both plays will now be considered for the National contest, which takes place in April at the Kennedy Center In Washington, D.C. “I’m proud to say that we made FSU look precisely as good as it is — and that’s very, very good, ” says Suellau.
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival was started in 1969 and is now a network of over 600 academic institutions organized into 8 geographic regions in the U.S. Celebrating the creative process, the festival honors excellence by offering recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing, and design.
“I am so thrilled for Zdenka and Rebekah, two extraordinarily talented writers,” says Sheri Wilner, mentor and playwriting faculty. “I’m also extremely proud of all five of the M.F.A. writers who, in two short semesters, transformed from theatre newbies to award-winning playwrights. When they began the Writing for Stage and Screen Program at FSU, they had very little (if any) experience in the theatre, but because of their indefatigable hard work, bravery and talent they can now consider themselves playwrights with a capital P. Tallahassee audiences should take every opportunity to see their wonderful work before these writers depart FSU in August and launch their careers in New York and Los Angeles.”
FSU is not new to the Kennedy Center awards. Student Adam Groff won the National Ten-Minute play contest at the Kennedy Center last year.
Also invited to this year’s regional festival was Don’t Worry Baby by recent alumna Alexandra Landers. It drew the biggest crowds of any of the daytime productions during the four-day event.
Suellau’s The Pretty Girl Basket Toss will be produced as part of the School of Theatre’s New Horizons Original Works Festival in Tallahassee at the Lab Theatre, April 11-22, 2012.
Photo: Actors Meg Scott Cain as Daisy, Perry Powell as Tommy, and Michael Patrick as Jeffrey, in a dysfunctional family photo for Don’t Worry Baby. Photo credit: Adwin Brown.