The Session

Throughout the week, I went to several different sessions about playwriting and acting in new plays. There were three sessions where we actually got to listen to some of our very own SEMO students writing. These sessions were the 20 minute writing challenge, 50 word writing challenge, and a session where students can bring in any short play they have been working on.

 Kennedee Nash learning on the SEMO River Campus

One of my favorites was the 20 minute writing challenge. Six students went into a room where they each got a picture and some sort of prop. The picture didn’t have to be in the play but something you find inspiration from. The prop must be used in the short play. 

Grace Schofeld, wrote a play about a young lady who’s boyfriends found a flash drive, the flash drive was the prop she must use, the flash drive had a picture of the young lady holding a baby. We, the audience, then found out that the young lady had the baby and gave it away for adoption. It was a great story that had so much emotion and the fact that she wrote it in 20 minutes is amazing. 

We had another session that talked about working on new play works. One of the sessions was given to us by Eden Hildebrand. She talked about her experience working on new plays as an actor, and gave us tips on how to prepare for new play work.

Full Length Plays

Last, but never the least, were the full length plays. The winner of the Lanford Wilson New Playwriting Festival will be the mainstage play for Spring 2024.

 Landford Wilson New Playwriting Festival Finalists

We have some amazing full lengths as our finalists - "Insignificant Bugs" By Keiko Green, relating different bugs to the characters as people. "The Light Keepers" by Lindsay Partain, about the group of friends that experiences a very sad death but somehow sci-fi brings back their light. "Power Play" by Rachel Greene, about the things plus-size women go through in theater and throughout life. "Our Play" by Jessica Moss, about a group of high school students put on the play called "Our Play" but something that no student in a school should ever go through happens to them. And lastly "The Lost Girls" by C. Meaker, about a group of girls that end up working at a summer camp and find a  scary honor coming their way or is it already there.

All of these plays were amazing in their own way, each one made me want to see and read more of the writer's work. The winner of this year's Lanford Wilson New Playwriting Festival is, drum roll please.......... "Our Play" by Jessica Moss.

Jessica Moss wins the Landford Wilson New Playwriting Festival

Sad to Leave

The past week was amazing. It opened my eyes to so many different things that I want to do in the theater. I even started writing my own play and now I’m even thinking about directing in the future.

None of this would be possible if it was for SEMO facilities and staff for giving us opportunities like this to explore a career in theater. Even though it was sad to say goodbye to all my friends and the amazing writer I met, it just made me more excited for next year's festival.