campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer College Presents Theatre Festival of Short, Student-Written Plays

NEW LONDON, N.H., Oct. 24, 2009 — The Colby-Sawyer College Fine and Performing Arts Department will present S.N.A.F.U. Unplugged, a festival of six ten-minute plays mostly written, directed and performed by students.

S.N.A.F.U. Unplugged will open Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. at the Sawyer Fine Arts Center on campus. The festival will continue on Thursday, Nov. 6, Friday, Nov. 7, and Saturday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students/children and free with a Colby-Sawyer I.D. The box office is open 4-6 p.m.; for reservations, please call 526-3670.

The students wrote the plays as part of their sophomore seminar, Catharsis: A Theatrical Journey, with Fine and Performing Arts Professor Jerry Bliss, which they completed in the last two spring semesters. Five of the plays were written and will be directed by students. Professor Bliss will also direct his own play, “Dirty Laundry.”

“What Do You Want Me to Say?” is written and directed by Margaret McCarthy '10, an English major from Laconia, N.H. The play began as an assignment to follow a conversation and make a scene out of it, and the result depicts a couple discussing where to order some food.

The frustrating and familiar situation of “What do you want? I don't care; what do you want?” is made humorous through dialogue and contrasting the characters' personalities, and by the knowledge that the argument is really about much more than food. Juniors Arin Auger and Eric Driver play the roles of the contentious couple, with McCarthy waiting in the wings as Auger's understudy.

Megan Ruggiero '10 does double duty as the director of two plays, “Miracles Can Happen” and “Car Ride to College.” Ryan Laperle '09, Kyla Pillsbury '11, and Laperle's understudy, Nick Richard '09 comprise the cast of “Miracles Can Happen,” written by Cheri Brisebois '10, an Early Childhood Education major from Sterling, Mass. The play, says Brisebois, is about relationships and was inspired by her brother's experience with a girlfriend who tried to force her religious views on him.

The two-person cast of “Car Ride to College,” written by junior Abbie Morse '10, features Kayleigh Flynn '11 and Amanda Knightly '11 as friends who discuss birthdays, studying and mother-daughter relationships while on their way back to college.

“Unplugged,” written by Meghan Fligg '10 and directed by Jaycee McCarthy '11, draws deeply from the author's life. “Two years ago my father passed away, and this play is about how my three sisters and I have dealt with his loss,” says Fligg. “Through writing this play, I was able to see how my family's strength and our love for one another have allowed us to cope. The play shows how four people as close as sisters, specifically twins, can be so close but also disagree. In the face of that disagreement, though, you can never forget the strength of family, the power of loss, or the bond of sisters.” The play features actors Megan Ruggiero '10, Samantha St. Onge '12, Angela Doyle '10 and Meghan Fligg, and is dedicated to the memory of Dennis Fligg. Meghan Fligg is an English major from Osterville, Mass.

“Drama Around Drama” is written by former Colby-Sawyer junior Josh Cohen. Charles Moak '12 directs the cast of Chris McCarthy, Abbie Morse '10, Andrew Francis '11, Meghan Hardiman '12 and Christine Wertz '12 as actors playing actors. The art-imitating-life drama focuses on the trials and tribulations of a small cast and a very patient director preparing for a production's opening night.

Professor Jerry Bliss directs his play “Dirty Laundry,” an exploration of neighborhood hostilities. Sally and Dick Joy, played by Laura Borges '11 and Nick Laurence '09, with Jaycee McCarthy as understudy, live in a small neighborhood that prohibits the hanging of laundry on clotheslines. Resistance to the Joys' attempts to save energy and do their part in the fight against global warming comes from neighbors played by Noah Richard and Suzanna Brown.

Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students from 25 states and five foreign countries learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with pre-professional experience. Visit us on the World Wide Web at

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000