Published March 21, 2018

Unique opportunity

Chicago playwright Shayne Kennedy to hold concert reading of work in progress on March 26
 MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College students will have a unique opportunity to participate in a “concert reading” when Chicago playwright Shayne Kennedy visits campus March 26.

In addition to a classroom visit with theatre and creative writing students, Kennedy will join Monmouth students and faculty in a concert reading of The Way the Light Comes In, her new play that is still in development.

Free and open to the public, the reading will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Barnes Electronic Classroom in the College’s Hewes Library.

Assistant Professor of Theatre Ron Zank, whose department is co-hosting Kennedy’s visit along with the Writers @ Monmouth series, said Kennedy’s work “finds humor in difficult moments and shows perspectives that might otherwise go unconsidered.”

He also described how valuable a concert reading can be for both the writer and for Monmouth students.

“Our students are used to working with published plays that have been produced many times before,” said Zank. “This experience gives them insight into the process of development and revision, which is critical to every writing process.”

The Way the Light Comes In explores life inside the University of Michigan’s first all-female dormitory, shortly after its construction. Away from campus, World War I rages. Stateside, the flu pandemic sweeps across the country. The women living in the Martha Cook Building are affected by these events, and by the nascent feminist movement, ignited in part by newly available printed information about reproduction, sexual relationships and birth control.

Kennedy’s work has been produced in her hometown, as well as across the Midwest. Her play, Agreed Upon Fictions, premiered at Chicago’s 16th Street Theatre in 2014 and enjoyed an extended run. Her short play, Blood Harmony, premiered in Omaha, Neb., in 2015 and was nominated for a TAG Award for Best New Work. This fall, her full-length play, Handled, will premiere at Creighton University.
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