Volume 95, Issue 76

Friday, February 15, 2002

Search the Archives:

Tips for searching

Campus and Culture
Submit Letter
Contact Us
About the Gazette


"Authentic" restaurant feels cheap and fake

Western gets ready for Purple Shorts

Like a rocket in your Pocket, these Dwellers bring the funk

Vagina opens up to the Western audience

Disc of the Week

Space rock takes flight in London

Rollerball = worst movie ever

Shits and Giggles

Western gets ready for Purple Shorts

By Maggie Wrobel
Gazette Staff

Ever write something so good you wanted to share it with others?

Purple Shorts, Western's brand-new one-act play festival, is giving Western student playwrights exactly that the much-coveted opportunity to stage their work.

"Students are always writing and there is rarely a venue for their work," said Michelle Witen, Theatre Western commissioner and festival founder and co-producer. "I'm just so happy to be a part of this pilot project that allows people's work to be seen."

The festival, which began its run on Wednesday and continues tonight and tomorrow at Talbot Theatre, features seven plays entirely written, directed and performed by Western students.

A call for submissions by Witen and her co-producer Derritt Mason earlier this year brought forth approximately 15 hopefuls for the festival, of which a selection committee chose the seven plays featured.

English professor Allan Pero, a member of the selection committee, said he was impressed by the quality of submissions.

"I was absolutely taken aback in the best sense of the word," he said. "The plays are smart, funny, witty and thoughtful a good cross-section of everything."

The seven plays featured at the festival are a diverse mix, including satiric comedies and sombre dramas. The topics covered range from feminism to religion to time travel.

According to Witen, diversity was an important consideration. "Before this idea came together, theatre at Western consisted largely of musicals and operettas and didn't really include drama," she said. "I wanted to give people exposure to all sorts of different works."

Student playwrights like Claire McCague are grateful for the opportunity to have their work featured.

"I'm glad to see Theatre Western jump in, launching the work of seven student playwrights [and] giving them a chance to see their work brought into the light," McCague said. Her play, Intersection, is one of the selections being staged at the festival.

Pero agreed that the presence of theatre is important on campus. "Watching something live onstage gives us a sense of community and immediacy that can't be duplicated by watching TV," he said.

Tonight's show starts at 8 p.m. and the line-up includes McCague's Intersection, as well as Timeplay by Michael Tipping and A Wake Before Rising by Kat Evans.

Saturday's shows include matinee performances at 2 p.m. of Oedipus Rex? as adapted by Genevieve Kwant, The Wait by Isabelle Ortega and Payne in the Neck by Kayt Lackie, as well as evening performances of Evans' A Wake, Tipping's Timeplay and Diamonds by Luke Maynard.

The $8 ticket to the festival includes three plays, while a two-night ticket is $14 and includes six shows. Tickets are available at the USC Front or at the door prior to showtime.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2002