The winner of Southeast Missouri State University’s 2022 Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival, The Winter Guard Play by Avery Deutsch, has been chosen for publication by Concord Theatricals.
Concord Theatricals is the largest and most prestigious publisher of plays and musicals in the nation.
“It validates everything for which we’ve been working,” said Kenn Stilson, executive director of the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival and chair of Southeast’s Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance. “It’s a tremendous honor for Avery Deutsch, who is a refreshing new voice in the American theater. We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with her and to have played a part in the development of this extraordinary script.”
The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival is in its fourth year at Southeast. The festival seeks productions that cast primarily characters in their teens and early to mid-twenties, 5-10 actors per production, significant representation of roles for female-identifying characters, dynamic roles to challenge student actors, and themes that speak to college-aged audiences.
“One of our major impetuses for starting the Lanford Wilson festival is that we have seen so many student actors in college productions playing characters in their middle-age and older, and that is simply not something that they will be asked to do in a professional setting,” said Kitt Lavoie, artistic director of the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festical. “We want to add to the literature available to colleges that allow students to play the age-appropriate roles that they might be cast in professionally, and having The Winter Guard Play available to other universities through Concord is an vital step towards that goal.”
Concord Theatricals has supported the mission of the Festival since its inception and considers the winning play every year for publication. The Winter Guard Play was the winner of the second play festival in 2022.
“The support Concord Theatricals offers in regards to the mission of the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival is a testament to the important work it is doing,” Stilson said. “The event brings playwrights together from all over the nation and engages an underused group of characters to create dynamic pieces, and this publication shows how outstanding those pieces are.”
The Winter Guard Play is a production written for seven female actors. The play is set in Pennsylvania, where a high school winter guard team attempts to choreograph a routine on the topic of global warming. The play received its world premier in the Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory’s 2022-2023 season.