Drama Wins Big Again in the 2011 Samuel French Play Festival

The New School for Drama can once again take a collective bow for their performance in the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival. Josh Beerman’s (’11) Mountain Song and Daniel Pearle’s (’12) The Truth About Christmas were selected as two of this year’s six winners. The plays will be published by Samuel French. The Truth About Christmas also featured Drama faculty member Julie Boyd and student Jessica Ranville (’12), and was stage-managed by Michelle Trester (’12).

Of the 40 plays selected as semi-finalists, four additional entries were submitted by Drama students and alumni: First Breath After Total Devastation by Victor Lesniewski (’10), directed by Sherri Eden Barber (’09) and Screen by Nick Gandiello (’11) featuring Courtney Stallings (’11). Gandiello’s play advanced to the finals.

The New School for Drama has been well represented in past Samuel French festivals, having many entries selected as semi-finalists and finalists. Past honorees include two-time winner Bekah Brunstetter (’07), E.J.C.Calvert (’10), Drama’s associate director Matthew Kelty (’02), Kitt Lavoie (’01), Gabe McKinley (’09), Janine Nabers (’08), and Ted Nusbaum (’06). Drama has had such a strong showing these last few years that the school and Samuel French have instituted an annual playwriting award and staged reading event for the industry that honors and supports the work of The New School for Drama’s emerging alumni playwrights.