Hollywood play, screenwriter to visit PAC

Lauren Cole, Staff Writer

Francis Marion University (FMU) will welcome accredited playwright and screenwriter Stephen Belber to the opening performance of “TAPE” at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Feb. 19 at 7:30p.m. 

Starring a cast of FMU students, “TAPE” is a play written by Belber about three friends who find themselves in the midst of trouble. 

Vince, a drug dealer, meets his friend Jon in a hotel room to show support for Jon, who has had his movie submitted and accepted in a film festival.  As the two friends are catching up with each other, they discuss Vince’s old high school girlfriend, Amy. 

During their conversation, it is discovered that although Vince and Amy never slept together, Amy and Jon did sleep together shortly after the breakup.  However, Vince was told by Amy that she was raped by Jon, so Vince sets out to prove Jon’s crime. 

Dr. Jon Tuttle, professor of English and coordinator of international studies, has been a key component in bringing Belber to FMU. 

“He is the biggest deal we have ever had [at FMU],” Tuttle said.  “He is an actor, writer, director and has had his play ‘TAPE’ turned into a major motion picture with A-list stars.  His plays are delicious and nerve racking.”

Belber has an extensive resume that includes studying in New York at The Julliard School and Playwrights Horizons Theater School while being commissioned by five different, renowned theater companies. 

He has written several plays, one of which was adapted into a movie, and spent one year writing for Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.  He has also had his plays performed internationally throughout Europe. 

Belber will be coming to FMU to watch the opening performance of the play and to meet with students to encourage them to pursue their dreams in theater. 

According to Tuttle, his appearance will give students a chance to get advice from a working professional who has significant experience in his field. 

“He is approachable, gracious and kind.  He is the Mother Teresa of screenwriting,” Tuttle said.

“TAPE” is expected to sell out fast, Tuttle said, based on the nature of the film and on the appearance of Belber.

“It’s great for 20 something-year-olds,” Tuttle said. 

For more information about “TAPE” or to purchase tickets for the play, call (843) 661-1720 or place orders at the ticket office at the PAC.