Students Pen Originals for RTR’s Playwriting Fest

April is traditionally “first works” month at Readers Theatre Rep, and this year the company is staging its first student-written production of one-act plays in a production titled “The Terrorists Have Miss Connecticut and Other Stories: Three Original Plays by Student Playwrights.”

The Terrorists Have Miss Connecticut by Kathleen Grotzinger, All In Good Luck by Erica Deffebach andFake by Katie George will be mounted, directed by David Berkson.

In keeping with the student theme, a third, free performance has been added at the Midland Library.

Berkson, who is also RTR’s Educational Outreach Director, says “All of these plays were written by teenagers. They are some of the most exciting scripts that I’ve directed for RTR, including those by Kushner, Shakespeare, Chekhov and Raymond Carver. They aren’t just well done or ‘A+’ material, they’re strange and unpredictable. They break all kinds of rules, and then invent all sorts of new ones.”

The plays were selected through a comprehensive, region-wide call for submissions. Berkson says there were many stand-outs, but the three chosen all shared something similar. “You feel that these three remarkable playwrights had to write these plays, that they just couldn’t help themselves,” he says. “The subject matter is all over the map: therapy, terrorism, Fiona Apple, fate, destiny, romance, compulsive lying and family dysfunction – but what unites them is a raw, honest perspective of what it is to be growing up in America today.”

The cast features Sharon Knorr, Chris Porter, Josh Rengert and Laura Fay Smith. Student performers are Olivia Gray, Grace Ledbetter and Ben Saeks.

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