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Appalachian Playcrafters to Present Five Original Student Productions at “New Play Festival” February 20 – 22

Full cast and crew of the 2019 New Play Festival. Photo by Maddie Coggin.

By Hannah Champion

The Appalachian State University Playcrafters, a student organization affiliated with the Department of Theatre and Dance, is presenting the 2020 New Play Festival, a series of five short plays written, directed and performed by university students.

The production takes place in I.G. Greer Studio Theatre on the Appalachian State University campus. Performances are:

Thursday, February 20 and Friday, February 21 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, February 22 at 2 and 7 p.m.


Tickets, which are sold 30 minutes prior to each performance, are $5 for students and $7 for general admission. For more information, call Playcrafters at (234) 380-3592 or email appstateplaycrafters@gmail.com


The New Play Festival features five original works of various styles and themes, including: 

  • “Dreaming of Fish Without Feet,” written by Matthias Rush ‘19, an English and creative writing graduate, and directed by sophomore English and film studies major Jade Anderson from Concord, with assistant direction by Ben Foster, a junior theatre education major from Wilkesboro.


  • “The Chicken and The Lime,” written by Shelby Jenrette, a senior general theatre major from Supply, NC, and directed by Hannah Champion, a junior general theatre major from Youngsville, NC, with assistant direction by Will Taylor, a freshman theatre education major from Charlotte.


  • “3MER B TBABE,” written by senior general theatre major Bella Balatow from Hickory and directed by Daniel Herman, a senior from Pinehurst, with assistant direction by Gray Fandel, a freshman from Mint Hill. Both Herman and Fandel are theatre education majors. 


  • “One Day After Another,” written by Natasha Toledo, a freshman biochemistry major from Wake Forest, and directed by Natalie Jones, a sophomore theatre education major from Greensboro, with assistant direction by Kait Bergmann, a freshman psychology major from Huntersville.


  • “Shakespeare Therapy,” written by Kasey McFerren, a senior theatre education major from Clayton, NC, and directed by Phillip Lavey, a junior computer science major from Greensboro, with assistant direction by Jamie Haney, a sophomore theatre education major from Weddington, NC. 


This year’s festival features 22 actors from various class years and academic majors with different levels of experience who have been working on the festival since December.

Other students with significant production responsibilities include Jessica Miller, a junior theatre design and technology major from Mint Hill, NC, as production stage manager, and Allie Pearce, a junior theatre education major from Greenville, NC, who serves on the Playcrafters executive board as the New Play Festival Chair. 

Playcrafters is currently accepting student-written one-act plays for next year’s 2021 New Play Festival.  Questions regarding eligibility for consideration, as well as original student plays, can be submitted to appstateplaycrafters@gmail.com.


About Appalachian State Playcrafters

Founded in 1933 by Cratis Williams and Rogers Whitener, Playcrafters is one of the oldest student organizations at Appalachian State University. The student group fosters enthusiasm for theatre by providing opportunities for students of any major to increase their skills through production aspects such as writing, directing, and acting. Along with the annual New Play Festival, Playcrafters presents the 24-Hour Arts Festival each fall.


About the Department of Theatre and Dance 

The Department of Theatre and Dance is one of seven departments housed in Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region. 


About Appalachian State University 

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

Freshman theatre performance majors, Ally Shelton from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Elonie Quick, from Greensboro, North Carolina, rehearse for this year’s New Play Festival. Actors and directors have been working on this show since December. Photo by Hannah Champion
General theatre majors, Catherine Selden, a sophomore from Hampstead, North Carolina, and Trevor Telenko, a senior from Wake Forest, North Carolina, rehearse their play for the 2020 New Play Festival. Photo by Jessica Miller.