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Students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will showcase their work at the Playwright’s Festival on at 7 p.m. Friday, April 27, at the Frank House.
“The festival is about giving the UNK playwriting students an opportunity to have their work read and minimally staged, as well as giving opportunities to UNK theatre students to act in an original short play,” said Janice Fronczak, UNK associate professor of theatre. “It is also about connecting with the resources we have right here on campus, such as the beautiful Frank House, to create theatre.” The event is free and open to the public.
The playwriting class has used the Frank House, located on UNK West Campus, since 2001 for inspiration, and to perform.
“The directors have always been excited and open to my expanding my classroom spaces to include the grounds and house of the Frank House,” Fronczak said.
“Inspiration for a playwright comes in all forms,” Fronczak said. “Sometimes it is just an image, a scent, a phrase about the history of a place that can spark a writer’s thinking. I have been amused and impressed with the many different venues that each of my playwriting students have taken.
“The excitement and energy that happens when original work is presented to an audience for the first time,” Fronczak said. “The joy of knowing that all eight of the students’ plays started with a tour of the Frank House, in hopes of gaining some inspiration for their plays.”
“I’m looking forward to the intimacy that the Frank House allows, along with its overall atmosphere of intrigue,” said Megan Buresh of David City, junior. “I cannot wait to have my play come to life in such an amazing house that is full of such history and secrets.”
“I was inspired from my trip the Frank House, and when I learned that a Frank family member committed suicide, it got me thinking about the lengths people go to take control of their life,” said Joe Knispel of Kearney, graduate student.
“Most of the plays could be rated PG-13, but others could be a bit more abstract in the writing, so an adult audience is best,” Fronczak said.
“The Frank House is such a gem, and I am quite grateful for the continued sharing of the mansion with the theatre students over the years,” Fronczak said.
For more information on the Frank House or any of the events, visit www.frankhouse.org.
The playwright class students whose work will be performed at the festival are listed below, alphabetically by hometown.
Bruno – Katie Polacek
Burwell – Garrett Drudik
Cozad – Ryan Bevard
Crawford – Colter Lemmon
David City – Megan Buresh
Kearney – Joe Knispel, Kyle Kypers
McCook – Kayla Goodenberger
Western – Matthew Schwan