Festival of Free Plays Begins Tonight at CMU | Program Notes

Festival of Free Plays Begins Tonight at CMU

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Carnegie Mellon University gets attention these days mostly for computers and robots, but the school has a long tradition in the performing arts, too. Get a taste of what’s up lately as a week-long program featuring three fully produced new plays by graduate dramatic-writing students there runs through Friday.

The plays are directed by John Wells MFA directing candidates at the school and feature CMU’s undergraduate acting company, in productions at the Purnell Center for the Arts.

The series kicks off at 6:30 p.m. tonight with The Recluse; or, The Rise and Fall of a Makeshift Pal, by Stephen Webb. It’s about a reclusive artist who builds himself a friend out of art supplies, and how this brings the outside world into his space. Andrew Smith directs.

Tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., it’s Babylon, by Dan Giles, about three siblings surviving in a remote cabin in a post-apocalyptic world — and what happens when a stranger appears. Terrence Mosley directs.

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, it’s Stupid Ghost, by Savannah Reich, and we’ll quote: “The Ghost lived in the woods, Minding Her Own Business, and definitely Not Haunting Anyone, until one day she saw a Pretty Girl and followed her home. It totally wasn’t even a thing. The Girl was probably not even going to notice.” This one’s directed by Ben Gansky.

On Friday, all three plays are staged, one after the other, at 4 p.m. (Stupid Ghost), 6:30 p.m. (Babylon) and 9 p.m. (Recluse).

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