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Colby-Sawyer College Production of 'The Biggest SNAFU Ever' Features Nine Short Plays by International Theater Professionals

NEW LONDON, N.H., Oct. 23, 2012 – For its fall theater production, the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Colby-Sawyer College will host “The Biggest SNAFU Ever,” featuring nine original short plays selected from more than 600 scripts submitted by accomplished and award-winning theater professionals from around the world.

The fall production will take place from Thursday to Saturday, Nov. 1-3, at Sawyer Center Theatre, at 7 p.m. The plays will be directed and performed by Colby-Sawyer students and Assistant Professor of Fine and Performing Arts and Theater Director Michael Lovell.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for non Colby-Sawyer students and children, and free with a Colby-Sawyer College ID. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the box office before the show.

SNAFU productions are a tradition begun by retired Professor of Fine and Performing Arts Jerry Bliss, which feature of variety of short plays written primarily by Colby-Sawyer students. This year Professor Lowell opened the submission of SNAFU scripts to anyone, and he received hundreds of short plays from “all corners of the world.” “I read plays for weeks. A few made me laugh, many made me actually exclaim 'what!?' out loud, and one even made me cry,” he said. “Almost all thanked us for this chance to express their artistic voice. It made me very aware how competitive the field is and how special and rare it is to have one's new work actually performed. SNAFU is more important than I thought.” After an “exhaustive and exhausting selection process” he narrowed the program down to nine plays.

The plays include a retelling of the story of Antigone, daughter of an incestuous marriage between King Oedipus of Thebes and his mother. “10-minute Antigone” was written by Stephen Dierkes and is directed by Christi Wilson. Dierkes is a member of the Playwrights Unit at Ensemble Studio Theatre-Los Angeles. His plays have been performed and read in St. Louis, Milwaukee, Spokane, New York and Los Angeles.

“It's the Jews,” a comedy about the difficulty of getting your vision on stage, was written by John Minigan and is directed by Alex Banat. Minigan was named “Best Playwright of 2011” in the 8-Minute Madness Festival in New York City and was the winner of the 2010 Firehouse Theater New Works Contest and the 2010 KNOCK International Short Play Competition. His plays have been produced in New York City by the Circle Repertory Company, Turtle Shell Productions, Quaigh Theatre, Gran Mal Theatre and Shelter West, and by theaters throughout the country and in the United Kingdom. “Piercing the Skin” is a drama about what is important and essential in one's life, written by Shannon Murdoch and directed by Brianna Cram and Thomas Buckley. Murdoch is the 2011 winner of the Yale Drama Series Award for her full-length play, “New Light Shine,” which was also selected for the National Play Festival 2011 in Sydney, Australia.

“Japanese Schoolgirl Night” is a comedy about a college professor who is mystified by her student's behavior, written by James McLindon and directed by Joshua Hardy. McLindon is currently a New Voices Playwriting Fellow at the New Repertory Theatre in Boston. His play, “Comes A Faery,” was developed at the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and was a finalist for the 2011 and 2012 Humana Festival. His new play, “Dead and Buried,” was an O'Neill semifinalist for 2011 and will be produced by the Detroit Rep this spring. His full-length play, “Faith,” was the winner of the John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award.

“The Sum of Your Experience” is a drama about whether, given the opportunity, we would give away the painful experiences of our lives directed by John Clarke. Writer Trace Crawford is a Dramatist's Guild member and has been a theater educator for 15 years. He has also organized a quarterly improvisational comedy competition for high school students across Ohio since 1999. Three of his plays will be published in the coming year. “Midnight Rubes” is a droll comedy about two tower guards hoping to survive the night, written by Ron Fromstein and directed by Michael Lovell. Fromstein is a Toronto-born playwright who has lived in Vancouver, New Orleans and Chicago. He is a four-time winner of the Toronto Fringe 24-hour Playwriting Competition and three-time winner of the Canadian National Playwriting Competition (2006, 2007, 2009).

“Jinxed” is a smart and funny comedy about a post-apocalyptic fight over whoopee pies written by Alexa Mavromatis and directed by Jamie Newell. Mavromatis is a 2012-2013 New Voices at New Rep Playwriting Fellow. Her play “The Back Room” was the 2008 third-place winner of the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award. Her short plays and one-acts – including “Bastard” (a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville's Heideman Award in 2008), “Bone China,” “Jinxed,” “The Quiz” and “True Blue” (a finalist for the 2012 Arts & Letters Prize for Drama) – have been produced across the country and internationally. Mavromatis is a member of the Dramatists Guild, StageSource, Small Theatre Alliance of Boston, Theatre Communications Group, and Rhombus Playwrights. She holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Boston University and a B.A. in Drama from the University of Georgia.

“Killing Naked Roses,” a comedic drama about the vagaries of fame, love and bad art, is written by K.K. Gordon and directed by Michael Lovell. Twenty-one of Gordon's plays have been produced in Northeastern Pennsylvania and he has won 13 NEPA Theatrical Alliance awards, including for Best Original Production, Best One Act, and Best Drama. Gordon has worked with Scranton's Diva Theater for more 13 years and is a creative consultant to Scranton Public Theatre's Jason Miller Playwrights Project. He is a Penn State-rostered artist who currently serves as an artist/instructor specializing in theater and poetry for NEIU's Art Save program for at risk youth.

In “A Vital Dilemma,” college roommates make a bizarre discovery. The play was written and will be directed by Zach Matson, a Colby-Sawyer student.

-Kimberly Swick Slover, with Mike Lovell