Playwriting Festival and Competition winner to be performed at Coe

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2011-02-09 09:42:08 - General

The Coe College Department of Theatre Arts will present a staged reading of the first-prize winner in the 2011 Coe College Playwriting Festival and Competition.  The reading will take place in the Dows Theatre on Friday evening, Feb. 18, starting at 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

This year's winner is Lauren Yee, a California-based playwright completing her MFA in Theatre at the University of California - San Diego, where she also teaches playwriting. Yee's as yet unpublished play, "A Man, his Wife, and his Hat," rose from the pile of several hundred received as the most outstanding piece submitted this year.

The play is a semi-absurdist comedy that tracks two parallel (and interrelated) story lines: one about an old couple (Hetchman the hatmaker and his unnamed wife) who have lost nearly all human connection with one another; and the other about a young woman (named "Voice") who receives (from a character named "Wall") cryptic messages about that couple after their death. Please note that "A Man, his Wife, and his Hat” is not suitable for children and contains coarse language.

"It is fiendishly funny (in a bittersweet way), and very emotionally satisfying throughout," said Weiss. "The two narrative threads are brought together cleverly (even surprisingly) toward the end of this highly entertaining play.  I think we will be hearing more from this inventive young playwright, Lauren Yee, in the coming years."

The playwright will be in residence at Coe starting on Feb. 16, and will attend the reading of her play on Feb. 18.  A "talkback" session with the audience will directly follow the reading, facilitated by Coe's playwriting instructor and Playwright-in-Residence, Megan Gogerty.

For more information, call 399-8581.