Words of M.F.A. Professors Come to Life During Staged TFA Reading

Posted: November 20, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Nationally recognized authors and professors in the Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at George Mason will see their characters and words come to life during a staged reading performed by professional actors from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Excerpts from novels by Stephen Goodwin and Susan Shreve, and short stories by Alan Cheuse and Richard Bausch, will be performed during a Theater of the First Amendment production, Words at Night: Stories from Life, in TheaterSpace on the ground floor of the Performing Arts Building at 8 p.m. on Nov. 21 and 22.

“George Mason has assembled one of the top creative writing programs in the country, and for several years, the novelist and National Public Radio critic Alan Cheuse and I have been discussing how we might bring some of these wonderful writers to the public in a different kind of setting,” says Rick Davis, Theater of the First Amendment’s artistic director.

The production will feature four selections. “The Voices from the Other Room,” a story from Bausch’s most recent collection, The Stories of Richard Bausch, is a brief dialogue of two lovers in afterglow–or perhaps nuclear fallout. “Days Given Over to Travel,” a story by Cheuse that was recently published in the literary journal Prairie Schooner, describes the final days of the author’s mother and her memories of growing up in the Jewish neighborhoods of Perth Amboy; it is presented in a theatrical style by two actors.

The third selection, “Breaking Her Fall,” is an excerpt from the novel by the same name written by Goodwin. It explores a day of reckoning the morning after the main character, Tucker, discovers his 14-year-old daughter is involved in an incident he can barely bring himself to discuss. Finally, an excerpt from the novel Plum and Jaggers by Shreve explores the imagination of Sam, the eldest of four siblings, who lost his parents in a tragic train wreck at the age of seven and continues to deal with the tragedy as he gets older.

The cast for the production is Taylor Coffman, Ilona Dulaski, Jeremy Gage, Ryan Mulkay, Kevin Murray, Zachary Myers, and Kimberly Schraf. Davis is the director, and the stage manager is Lauren Hyland.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. To order, call (703) 218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com.

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