Six scripts were selected representing playwrights from five states. Six visiting guest artists attended and 12 area actors donated their time and talent. Where I’m Headed, by Leah Ryan from Smith College and Safe Inside, by Chip Greer from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro were selected by the theatre department for full productions in the spring; five of the six scripts have since received fully staged productions around the country; and Dog Stories, by Keith Huff from the University of Iowa, remains popular in regional theatres nationwide (Huff had two plays workshopped at WordBRIDGE , Dog Stories, and Regard the Sun.) Two of the three winners at the 1994 21st Century Playwrights Festival (judges include Edward Albee, Mac Wellman, Maria Fornes and Marsha Norman) were WordBRIDGEplaywrights Ryan and Huff. Also, as a result of his WordBRIDGE experience, Sterling Watson, creative writing professor and novelist, designed a playwriting major course of study at Eckerd College.
The Tobacco Barn by Gail Powell
Nominated by Valdosta State College. In the full heat of July, 1960, two generations of a family deal with issues of mortality and love in rural Georgia. The mystery of past events behind the old tobacco barn come full circle in the present.
Regard the Sun by Keith Huff
The University of Iowa Playwright’s Workshop nominated this play about a 31-year-old son, named Doughboy, and his elderly (and failing) father as they struggle to make sense of their relationship, their past, and the world — which is largely absurd.
Safe Inside by Chip Greer
This play was chosen from the Creative Writing program at Eckerd College. A materialistic young couple are visited by an aggressive encyclopedia salesman, a robbery follows, the police investigate — but many questions remain unanswered. The mood of the play is mixed, with social satire, melodrama, and sarcasm.
Where I’m Headed by Leah Ryan
Leah Ryan’s Where I’m Headed was nominated by the Playwriting progam at Smith College. Angie and Dave go hitch-hiking across America and meet some very, very strange people; the police get involved, and some of our characters end up in jail.
Vernon’s Chase by Mark Reeves
A nomination by the University of Utah, Reeves’ play explores the relationships that develop on-the-job among several workers as they attempt to deal with technical matters (the construction of a chase) and their traditional, limited views of sexuality — when challenged by some unusual, alternative means of sexual expression.
Xin Loi by Masha Ward
In this nomination by Eckerd College’s Creative Writing program, the scene is set at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., where two vets, Nat and Soup, try to make sense of their damaged lives. A young woman, Jade, joins their conversation; with their help she confronts the death of her father, who was also a vet.