M.Litt. Student’s Play Garners Award

October 27, 2004

Ann PleissAnn Pleiss just received confirmation that she was awarded one of the top three prizes in the Harford Community College One-Act Playwriting contest, for a work titledSomething Old, Something New. The outcome of the contest will take place at a public reading November 6.

“By joining the M.Litt./MFA program in Shakespeare within its first five years, we take on the responsibility of establishing the program’s reputation,” says Pleiss, second year M.Litt student.

Called “simply one of the best students in the program — setting new standards of scholarship in every class,” by recent M.Litt. grad and current MFA student Megan McDonough, Ann is more than helping establish the program’s reputation.

“Ann wrote several excellent scenes and her moving one-act play, which is a relatively lengthy one-act play, about an hour in length. She found a very effective way to use a narrator to link scenes together and bring the audience into the story, and she also used comic and serious moments extremely well. Her characters are all different and delightful, and her dialogue individualizes each one,” says Roger Hall, professor of theatre at James Madison University, about work she completed in his playwriting class last year when he was a visiting professor at Mary Baldwin University.

Ann’s play was chosen from 31 plays from across the country. The plays were judged on content, dialogue, characterization, ingenuity, and ability to be staged. Among the judges were leading theatre professionals Dr. Thomas Donahue, chair of the Department of Drama at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; Mari Lyn Henry, co-author ofHow to be a Working Actor; and Roberta Wells-Famula, education director at Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre.

Ann has a B.A. in English and speech-drama from Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her first one-act play,Signing Off, was produced for the Mount Mercy College One-Act Festival in 2002.Something Old, Something Newis her second one-act play.

A staged reading of the winning plays from the contest will take place at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland, on Saturday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m. Following the performance will be an awards ceremony and audience members will have the opportunity to meet the playwrights. For more information about the readings, visit Harford’s Web site, https://www.harford.edu/cultural/default.asp or call (410) 836-4211.