Acclaimed playwright set to visit campus

Acclaimed playwright set to visit campus

Rachel Baggett, Staff Writer

Francis Marion University students will soon have the opportunity to meet and talk with acclaimed playwright Itamar Moses when he visits the campus on Thursday, Feb. 23 and Friday, Feb. 24.

A dramatic writing graduate from New York University, Moses has written several plays, such as “Yellowjackets,” “The Four of Us,” “Back, Back, Back,”“Outrage” and “Com-pleteness.”Along with his plays, Moses also serves as a screenwriter for several television shows, including HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”

Professor of English Dr. Jon Tuttle, who arranged for Moses’ visit to FMU, had unlimited amounts of praise for the playwright’s work.

“The word brilliant gets thrown around a lot…but he is absolutely, undeniably brilliant,” said Tuttle. “His writing is something new under the sun.”

Moses’ visit will coincide with the performances of his award-winning play “Back, Back, Back” at the Performing Arts Center’s Black Box Theatre.

Directed by FMU’s Professor of Theatre Arts Dr. Keith Best, the play follows the lives of three major league baseball players who fall into the temptation of steroids.

It also focuses on each player’s different reasons for taking the steroids and how they deal with the negative repercussions of their decision as it begins to deteriorate their relationships.

Best was looking for a play to be the first FMU Theatre program performance at the PAC when Moses’ work was recommended to him by Tuttle.

After reviewing all of Moses’ different plays, Best finally selected “Back, Back, Back” after seeing how it fit the criteria he was looking for and how well it was written.

When asked about why it was important to let students meet and speak with Moses, Best said that hearing the information Moses has to offer could be valuable to students interested in performing or writing for the stage.

“Having the playwright on campus helps students to understand and develop a greater appreciation for the work and craft that goes into creating a theatrical work of art,” said Best.

Tuttle also expressed the same sentiments as Best on the benefits of having a playwright like Moses come to campus.

“Sometimes they are able to articulate the play writing process and artistic process in ways that I can’t…and they also can discuss the business of film writing, television and play production,” Tuttle said. “And it’s inspiring. If you sit in a room with Tom Stoppard, you leave with your IQ ten points higher, and the same will be true with Itamar Moses.”

The first performance of “Back, Back, Back” will be held on Monday, Feb. 20 and run until Saturday, Feb. 25.

After the performance on Thursday, Feb. 23, Moses will be holding a talk back for the audience. This will be a chance for the audience to ask Moses any questions they have about the performance or play.

Any questions about Moses or his campus appearances can be directed to Tuttle, who can be contacted at jtuttle@ or 661-1521.

For information about the performance or to buy tickets, contact the PAC at www. or 661-4444.