“ForePlays” to return

Melanie Mitchell, Editor-in-Chief

After last year’s premiere production of the “ForePlays” during the annual
V-Week celebration, committee members are again seeking student-written plays
concerning sexual health and identity to be performed in spring 2014 during
Dr. Jon Tuttle, professor of English, is co-coordinating script submissions and
said students are encouraged to write short plays that deal “frankly” and “candidly”
with topics ranging from sexually-transmitted diseases and pregnancy to
recreational sex and fetishism.
Although the topic is chosen by the writer, the content of the plays should
speak to student-related issues, and they should be written in a language that is
relatable to students.
According to Tuttle, the plays that were performed last year dealt with a
woman who contracted human papillomavirus (HPV) through intercourse,  female
promiscuity, the second-coming of a sexually permissive Christ  and the specter of
herpes looming over a newly-in-love couple.
“These plays can be funny, profane, graphic, tragic or embarrassing,” Tuttle
said. “[The plays can be] anything appropriate to their purpose, which is to raise
awareness among the student body about the students’ bodies.”
Dr. Pamela Rooks, professor of English and coordinator of Gender Studies
Program, and Tammy Ivins, interlibrary loan and reference librarian, are working in
conjunction with Tuttle on script submissions. Rooks and Ivins will be available to
give students direction when choosing a topic and writing for the stage.
“Last year we had many fantastic submissions, both hilarious and serious,
and we look forward to great submissions this year that will hit home and challenge
audiences to think deeply about topics usually ignored,” Ivins said. “As a survivor of
sexual assault while in college and as someone with friends who have [dealt with]
even more challenging issues, I know that ignoring sexual health, behavior, and
other topics does not help.”
Students from all majors are invited to submit plays. The plays should be
10-15 minutes long and the priority deadline for script submissions is November 22.
Tuttle said he advises students to meet with him or Ivins in advance to help
give direction to students when deciding on a topic and to ensure that the
information is accurate.
After the plays are submitted, the next phase, planning the staged reading,
can begin. Dr. Dawn Larsen, associate professor of theatre, will coordinate those
Tuttle explained that a staged reading is not a full dramatic production, but
rather a presentation of a play as readers’ theatre.
“The idea is to allow an audience to hear the play,” Tuttle said. “Actors will sit
and read the lines, script in hand. There may be some blocking or movement, but
not much. The emphasis is on the words.”
The plays will feature student actors.  Multiple students can collaborate on
and write a play together.  Play writers can be actors in their plays and also direct
their plays if they choose to.
According to Tuttle, copy, production and publication rights will belong solely
to the authors, but the plays may be performed in later years with the authors’
Tuttle also noted that while there are no limits in terms of content and
language of the plays, the committee does reserve the right to make decisions
about the appropriateness.
For more information concerning script submissions, contact Tuttle or Ivins
through their university email addresses.