The Coe College Department of Theatre Arts will present a staged reading of the first-prize winner in the 2013 Coe Playwriting Festival and Competition. The reading of “Honor Student” by playwright Michael Erickson will take place in Mills Theatre in the Dows Fine Arts Center on Thursday evening, March 28, starting at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public, with a discussion to follow the reading.
Erickson will also be in residency at Coe the week of March 25 to work with students in playwriting classes.
A new play, “Honor Student” takes place on a college campus and explores the tension between a playwriting instructor and one of her best students, who writes a play that could be considered an act of harassment or terrorism. And yet, the student is simply using freedom of expression to push the boundaries of the art form. Or is he? Erickson has matched teacher against student in an intriguing power play that pits reality against fiction.
Those involved in the reading include Coe alumna Katie Becker, current students Connor Swanson and Kelci de Haas, local actress Marty Norton, guest artist Ezra Colon, and director Steven Marc Weiss, associate professor of theatre arts at Coe.
A graduate of the MFA Theater Program at the University of California, San Diego, Erickson teaches playwriting and dramatic literature at Webster University in St. Louis. His plays have been produced at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Dance Theatre Workshop and Via Theatre in New York; A Director’s Theater in Los Angeles; the Empty Space Theatre, Pioneer Square Theatre and the Floating Theatre in Seattle; Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis; the Cleveland Public Theatre; and the Imaginary Theater Co. (St. Louis Repertory). His collaboration with Malashock Dance & Co., “Apologies from the Lower Decks,” toured the country and was produced on PBS. His work has won several awards, including a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting, a California Arts Council Award and the Mobil Playwriting Competition International Prize (Royal Exchange Theatre, England). He was Playwright-in-Residence at the Tennessee Repertory Theatre in Nashville for the 2011-2012 season, where he developed “Honor Student.” A recent play, “Alien Hand Syndrome,” was produced at MadLab Theatre, Columbus, Ohio, and Moving Arts Theatre, Los Angeles, and was published in Regional Best 2011, an anthology of new plays.
For more information, call 399-8581.