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From the Desk of Licensing: Collegiate Edition

From the Desk of Licensing: Collegiate Edition

Featuring four fantastic plays for a complete season, this edition comes to you from:

Name: Becca Schlossberg
Title: Collegiate Licensing Coordinator
Personal Note: Every day I help bring great plays and musicals to colleges and universities, with a specific focus on updating core curriculum.  If you are a theater history teacher looking for a new play to teach structure, a student group looking for a cutting-edge drama, or a director planning your next main-stage season, this is the list for you!

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Is God Is

Who wrote it?
Aleshea Harris

Why do I know that playwright?
Aleshea Harris is fast becoming one of the most watched writers. Winner of the 2016 Relentless Award and 2018 Obie Award for Is God Is. Check out her other play as well: What to Send Up When it Goes Down.

So, what's this play about?
Meet Racine and Anaia, two identical twin sisters disfigured from a terrible fire. What starts out as a simple reunion with their mother turns into a dark and heinous journey as the twins avenge their past.

Why should I do it?
This play ties so many influences and aspects together beautifully: the deep feel of a Greek tragedy, the terrible suspense of a thriller, the focus of a modern Western, as well as ties to hip-hop and Afropunk, all synthesized together to create a totally new, irreverent play with a black family at the focus.   

If I'm pitching this to the rest of my staff, what's the best (short) description I could give them?
This is definitely a play for the age of Jordan Peele.  Stark, bleak, and haunting. 

 

The Earth is Flat

Who wrote it?
Todd Almond

Why do I know that playwright?
Todd Almond is a brilliant lyricist, composer and playwright known for works like Girlfriend, Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical (with playwright Sarah Ruhl), and Iowa. He has also released two solo albums: "Mexico City," and "Memorial Day."

So, what's this play about?
A coming of age story about two boys, Ethan and Derek, as they come to terms with their sexuality, friendship in college, and life getting in the way. 

Why should I do it?
Great work for young actors in a way that is completely relatable, poignant and funny.

If I'm pitching this to the rest of my staff, what's the best (short) description I could give them? 
Remember that awkward thing that happened in college?  Todd Almond wrote a play about it. 

 

Pass Over

Who wrote it?
Antoinette Nwandu         

Why do I know that playwright?
In addition to be the 2018 receipt of the Samuel French The Next Step Award, Antoinette Nwandu’s numerous honors include the 2018 Whiting Award, the 2017 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, the Negro Ensemble Company’s Douglas Turner Ward Prize, a Literary Fellowship at the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, and spots on the 2016 and 2017 Kilroys list. A filmed version of the Jeff-award winning, Steppenwolf production of Pass Over—directed by Spike Lee—premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and at SXSW, and is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

So, what's this play about?
Two men on a street at night.  Which is also a plantation. Which is also Egypt, a city built by slaves. This poetic re-envisioning of Waiting for Godot captures two men’s urgent search for the promised land.

Why should I do it?
This play punches you right in the gut.  Its language leaves you breathless.  It is a thrilling and timely exploration of racial tensions in America.

If I'm pitching this to the rest of my staff, what's the best (short) description I could give them? 
Two men living on a street corner when a stranger enters. 

 

The Great Leap

Who wrote it?
Lauren Yee

Why do I know that playwright?
Lauren Yee’s acclaimed body of work includes Cambodian Rock Band, King of the Yees, Ching Chong Chinaman, The Hatmaker’s Wife, Hookman, In a Word, and Samsara.

So, what's this play about?
In the 1980’s, an American basketball team heads to post-Cultural Revolution Bejing to participate in a “friendship” game.

Why should I do it?
A simple set is all that’s needed for this layered exploration of American and Chinese relations. One of the ‘great leaps’ taken in the play is the placement of Asian and Asian-America characters at the focus.

If I'm pitching this to the rest of my staff, what's the best (short) description I could give them?
A sports play that tackles the plight of Mao Zedong’s China. 

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Okay, I have to read these plays. Where can I get the scripts?

Click any of the titles above to go directly to their show page. Or, you can search for them at samuelfrench.com!

I'm also pretty sure I'm going to want to license it - but I may have a few questions first. Who do I contact?

Reach out to your licensing representative directly and check out our Season Planning Guide for Schools. And for more, check out our collegiate season category here!

 

Featured photo from Is God Is by Aleshea Harris
photo credit: Julieta Cervantes

 

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