Sam French Picks Dance Lessons and The Bear: Drama Wins Big Again

E.J.C. Calvert

E.J.C. Calvert

The New School for Drama can take a collective bow for this year’s performance in the 2010 Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival. Josh Koenigsberg’s Dance Lessons, directed by Sherri Eden Barber (’09) and E.J.C.Calvert’s (’10) The Bear (A Tragedy), directed by Mason Beggs (’10) were selected as two of this year’s six winners. The plays will be published by Samuel French.

Of the 40 plays selected as semi-finalists, The Bear and four additional entries were submitted by Drama students and alumni: Paul David Young (’09), Christians Having Sex in Silence; Josh Beerman (’11), A History of Kites; J. Julian Christopher (’05), Schwarz! (Hansel und Gretel); and Jessica Hinds (’10), What Dies Inside Us While We Live. Paul Takacs (’11) directed Beerman’s play, which featured Tristan Morris (’11), Tanis Parenteau (’11), and Erin Hart (’11); and Young’s play was directed by Diana Basmajian (’08) and featured Brynne Kraynak (’09).

The university has been well-represented in past Samuel French festivals, having many entries selected as semi-finalists and finalists. Past winners include: two-time winner Bekah Brunstetter (’07), Drama’s associate director Matthew Kelty (’02), Kitt Lavoie (’01), Gabe McKinley (’09), Janine Nabers (’08), and Ted Nusbaum (’06). New School Drama has had such a strong showing these last few years that the university and Samuel French have instituted an annual staged reading series for the industry that honors and supports the work of our emerging alumni playwrights.