By Peter Barell
Arts and Entertainment Editor
The Post Theatre Company held the Virgil J. Lee New Play Festival on Feb. 6, 7 and 8. The festival is an annual event that showcases new work from LIU Post theater students and professional playwrights. This year featured “Falling in Line” by junior Sarah Taylor.
“[The plays] are usually staged readings,” Taylor told The Pioneer. The readings feature a combined effort, with theater majors serving as actors, as well as part of the production team. A director works alongside the playwright to develop the script at hand. Staged readings are a form of minimal theater, without elaborate sets or costuming. Actors read from scripts, and the effort is a means of improving the script.
Taylor’s “Falling in Line” was a period piece, set during the 1800s. “It is about a young drummer boy who is thrown from his home into a rag-tag group of soldiers during the Civil War,” she said. “During the rehearsal process I have been making the necessary changes to [the play] to make it the best it can be.”
The young playwright plans to move somewhere in Queens or near New York City after she graduates with her B.F.A. in Theater Arts. “From there I plan to find some type of job and audition, audition, audition,” she said. “My main focus is to be an actress, but I also plan to write plays on the side and hopefully get something published.”
“I always like to open my eyes and see what is going on with the world around me,” said Taylor. Like other artists, she finds inspiration by creatively viewing the mundane. “[Sometimes it’s] something as easy as reading the paper or taking in the scenery while walking somewhere. With theatre, I want people to leave a show with answers, but also with some questions. I like to put myself in other people’s shoes and see how they live.”
To Taylor, the people who fight for justice or equality, such as her little drummer boy in the Civil War, weighed in emotionally for the audience. Taylor said, “Unfortunately, we live in an unbalanced world, but I think if people start questioning the unbalances, then we can start evolving to a more equal way of living.”