Western student written play reaches regional level
By Christian Mengel
March 4, 2012
One Missouri Western student may be seeing a future in script writing; after all, his first play ever written was the best one to come out of Missouri.
Jesse Frazier, a senior Theater & Cinema major, wrote a 10 minute script in his playwriting class that ended up being good enough to be casted, directed and critiqued at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival which was held on the University of Oklahoma campus. Missouri’s region falls with Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas; Frazier’s piece was the only one representing Missouri.
“This was my first play ever written,” Frazier said. “I’ve always wanted to, but I just didn’t know how. I had an idea, but how to approach it I didn’t really know. That class really helped me get a grasp on it.”
Frazier’s play is a fictional war story. The most challenging part about writing it was fitting it into the 10 minute time limit. His play was much more of an emotional roller coaster than the others were. Frazier touched on faith and religion, the seriousness of war and family values, while most of the other plays touched on just one issue. This made it harder on Frazier’s play because his had more emotional changes than the others.
Even though his play is just 10 minutes, his next step for this play is to add to the details and turn it into a solid 30 minute piece. Once successful at 30 minutes, Frazier hopes to blow it up into a full two-hour performance play, in hope that the emotional changes will be longer and drawn out instead of having to fit it in such a short period of time.
Dallas Henry, the professor who taught the playwriting course, sees a lot of potential in Frazier and his work.
“Jesse is very creative,” Henry said. “He really thinks outside the box and challenges himself. It goes to show with having a created foreign language and a war, he really pushes his limits.”
All his life, telling stories has been Frazier’s biggest passion. Coming from a large family, and being one of the older brothers, Frazier felt as a kid that it was his responsibility to keep the younger kids entertained. Storytelling and creating roles for the kids to play was how he was able to do it. From then on he knew that telling stories was his calling.
“If I could tell stories for a living, that’s my dream job,” Frazier said. “Rather, it’s doing sitcoms, writing books or whatever. I’ve actually put a little thought into maybe teaching one day, but right now it’s just about getting my work out there and seeing what that can do for me.”
From regionals, only two were chosen to go on to the national level. Although Frazier didn’t reach the national level this year, he still received a ton of great feedback.
“One of the directors from one of the other plays asked me if she could direct my play back in her home town,” Frazier said.
Henry said the scripts written in last semesters playwriting class were passed on to this semester’s directing class. Approximately 15 plays were written last semester, including Frazier’s, and they are currently being handled by 15 directors. They will debut as plays for the first time Thursday, May, 1 at 7:30 p.m.