Theatre Fairfield at Fairfield University begins 2008 with a "New Works Festival"

Theatre Fairfield, Fairfield University's student theater company, presents "New Works Festival" on Feb. 21 at 8:00 p.m. and Feb. 24 at 2:00 p.m. at the PepsiCo Theatre on the university's campus. The two performances of "New Works Festival" consist of premieres of exciting new one-act plays written by Fairfield University undergraduate students Jayson Cowley '10, Kerry Davies '11 and Theatre Fairfield's resident playwright and mentor, Staci Swedeen. Dr. Marti LoMonaco, acting chairman of the Theatre Department, directs and talkbacks with the company will follow both performances.

In addition to her Fairfield duties, Swedeen is also a teacher of playwrighting at Aces Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven. Her play, "The Goldman Project" premiered Off Broadway in the fall of 2007. Other Swedeen plays have been performed across the country, published in numerous anthologies and presented in many festivals. In "New Works Festival," she is represented by three of her newest works: "The Pennysaver," "Requiescat In Pace" and "Couple Capacity."

In describing Swedeen's pieces, Dr. LoMonaco stated enthusiastically that the three plays exhibit "delightfully quirky plot twists and fascinating characters that will be a fun challenge for the actors and engaging for our audiences. I'm particularly in love with the character of Puss-Cat, a talking tomcat played by an adult male, in "The Pennysaver," while in "Couple Capacity," we get to enjoy a couple making out onstage for almost the entire play."

Rounding out the evening are two inventive new scripts by students - "Row Six" by Davies, tracks three unlikely companions on a flight from JFK to LAX and Cowley's "Compiled," focuses on six characters in heaven, purgatory, and hell. Davies creates a situation in which his richly drawn characters are defined through the witty humor they use to express their awkwardness. Cowley, on the other hand, explores the idea of faith in life beyond our material existence. The plays delight and demonstrate a high potential from both of these writers.

The "New Works Festival" is not only a fascinating ride into the five very different worlds found in each play, but it is also a great learning experience for the Fairfield University students. Cowley couldn't contain the excitement he feels in anticipation of the performances when he spoke for himself and his fellow student, "Besides the excellent opportunity for us to see our work onstage and up on it's feet, there is nothing better than seeing the realization of a director's concept for a play performed for an audience." The amount of talent on display in one room makes the Festival a unique opportunity no patron of the arts will want to bypass!

Tickets are $12 for general admission; $6 for seniors & university staff; and $5 for students. Tickets are now available online at or call the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. Visit the website at for further information.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950,

Posted on January 29, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 166

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