Collaborative play festival to show work

The Los Medanos College drama department’s annual New Play Festival will be returning for its seventh year May 23 through the 25 – the first three nights of finals week.

The Festival features short one act plays written mainly by students in Professor Greg Brown’s Creative Writing class, but submissions were also accepted from the English and drama departments. The play writing is incorporated into the Creative Writing class, and Drama 21 and 23 students will be performing the plays as part of their final exam.

“We all got to decide which characters we want to play,” said drama student Adeeb Nazam, “but [Head of Drama] Nick Garcia decides which plays are performed.”

“I direct, but everything else is by the students,” said Garcia, noting that the students are in charge of writing, acting, set design, sound, lighting and more.

Continued Garcia, the New Play Festival is “a full-campus collaboration” among art, English, drama, journalism and graphic design students. The three-night event will feature seven new plays each of the first two nights with the third night being an improv comedy performance.

“Each night you come you’ll have a totally new experience,” said Garcia.

There is great range in the content of the plays, but be advised when it comes to bringing children, because according to Garcia the majority of the plays are “mature in content.”

In the words of Garcia, some of the themes will include “a lot of murder, betrayal,” some horror, one in the style of The Twilight Zone, one reminiscent of an 80’s teen movie, and many more. One or two are expected to be more lighthearted and child-friendly, though.

“I’ve attended a couple rehearsals and it’s amazing to see what’s being done,” said Brown.

Of all the plays his students wrote for the festival, the one he said he’s most excited about was one written by Konnor Heredia. “His play is very funny … he writes very funny dialogue.”

The Festival will take place at the Little Theater. The shows all start at 7 p.m. with the doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will be $5 each for everyone – students and non-students alike – with more info to come on where and when to purchase.