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New York State of Mind: Theatre Wesleyan is Big Apple bound

05.15.2015 | By: Ann Davis
Twelve Theatre Wesleyan students, as well as six theatre department faculty and staff, are traveling to New York City to showcase the play Graham’s Grail, by John J. Humphrey ‘14, this year’s winning playwright.

Photo courtesy of Chuck Greeson

Playmarket, Theatre Wesleyan's 19-year-old tradition of developing and nurturing budding playwrights, is headed to New York. 

Twelve Theatre Wesleyan students, as well as six theatre department faculty and staff, are traveling to New York City to showcase the play Graham's Grail, by John J. Humphrey '14, this year's winning playwright.

Graham's Grail was selected for this year's New York Playmarket presentation by a selection committee, which includes Broadway producer and Wesleyan alumnus Mike Skipper '78. More than 20 Texas Wesleyan students and alumni submitted scripts for consideration.

The play will be presented at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 18. Rattlestick's mission is to support emerging playwrights.

"We are expecting more than 40 New York-area Theatre Wesleyan alumni to attend the presentation at Rattlestick," Connie Whitt-Lambert, Theatre Wesleyan professor and director, said. "Our New York alumni open their arms to our students as mentors and are consistently supportive — just like family."

The cast and alumni are invited to an after party hosted by Anne Street '78 at Fiddlesticks Pub immediately following the performance.

Wesleyan connection brings VIP experience

While in New York, students will also have the opportunity to tour the city and see a Broadway musical. The group will see Fun Home, which is nominated for 12 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and participate in a talkback with the cast after the show.

Liz Armstrong, daughter of James C. Armstrong and granddaughter of O.C. and Elizabeth Means Armstrong, is one of the producers of Fun Home and arranged for the students' talkback. Texas Wesleyan's Armstrong residence halls were dedicated and renamed the James C. Armstrong & O.C. Armstrong Hall and James C. Armstrong & Elizabeth Means Armstrong Hall last fall.

Whitt-Lambert says that for many students, the Playmarket trip is their first to New York City.

"All it takes is just dipping your toe in the water to realize, 'I can do this,'" Whitt-Lambert, said.

About 'Graham's Grail'

Graham's Grail is written by John J. Humphrey and directed by Connie Whitt-Lambert and features Tim Crabb as Graham and Travis Jones as Simon; the company includes Tyler Guse, Biselle Saucedo, Kelsey Manuel, Clarissa Murillo, Colton Mallory, Trey Cardona, Kaila Saffle, Aleksei Barrera, Jacob Sanchez and Jorge Flores.

Graham's Grail is a dark look at the mind and soul of a deeply tormented man and his quest for salvation, and is rated R for subject matter and language.

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