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New Play Festival at ASU

Article Published: Nov. 29, 2012 | Modified: Dec. 2, 2012
New Play Festival at ASU

ASU senior Ariel Nicastro is directing this year's Playcrafters New Play Festival.

Photo by Frank Ruggiero

Appalachian State University’s Playcrafters are setting the stage for originality.

The New Play Festival returns to ASU Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, promising original works that are produced, written, directed and performed by students.

“The New Play Festival is an annual event that Playcrafts, the theater club at ASU, puts on every year,” said New Play Festival artistic director Ariel Nicastro, also vice president of the Playcrafters and a theater minor at the university. “Students work on every aspect of the festival.”

These aspects surround three new works, all one-act productions, that afford students the opportunity to showcase their talents before semester’s end.

“It’s important that we do new works, and it’s important that students get a chance to direct and get a feel for producing, so that’s what the emphasis is,” said Derek Gagnier, associate professor of theater at ASU. “It gives them a real chance to flex their creative wings without us lording over them.”

The first play is “Auld Lang Syne,” written by senior theater arts major Hilary Wheeless and directed by senior theater arts major Melanie Miller. Wheeless decribed the play, saying, “A subway. The middle of nowhere. Two people, one child. Alone. New Years. Bang.”

Next up is “Dead Hearts,” written by Rachel Leishman. According to Leishman, “This is about connection. It is about the ability to be honest with another person. Never be afraid to let yourself say ‘I love you’ to someone who feels the same for you. Hurry, before time runs out.”

The festival’s finale is “The Conduit,” written by senior English major Morgan Stewart and directed by senior English major Carry Vaughan. According to Stewart, “The Conduit” is about “Emily, a young schoolteacher, (who) goes to meet with her estranged father upon his request. With what, she is unsure, but it has something to do with his ability to see and contact the dead.”

“It’s really impressive to see all the hard work they’ve put in,” Nicastro said.

The New Play Festival is being held in I.G. Greer Studio Theatre, located in the lower level of I.G. Greer Hall, facing the B.B. Dougherty Administration Building on campus.

Parking is available after 5 p.m. in campus lots and the College Street parking deck near Belk Library and Information Commons.

For more information, visit

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