Playwright receives staged reading of original work

[Hammond] A live staged reading of “So Many Egos,” by student playwright Stephanie Katz is set for Tuesday, May1, in the Vonnie Borden theatre, located on Southeastern Louisiana University’s campus starting at 7:30 p.m.

The event is hosted by the theatre national honor society Alpha Psi
Omega, Epsilon Psi Cast at Southeastern and is directed by faculty
advisor James Winter. Attendance is free and open to the public. Doors
open at  7 p.m. The reading will be followed by a Q&A session with the
playwright and cast members.

“So Many Egos” is a one-act farce, which focuses on the world of film
making. According to Katz, it pokes fun at all the egos that exist in
the movie industry, ranging from the money-pinching producer, to the
self-absorbed actor and also gives focus to the lesser known members
of the business, such as production assistants and clapboard grips.

“I wrote ‘So Many Egos’ for a playwriting class I took last summer,”
said Katz. “It was inspired by people I’d met while interning on a
film set my freshman year. Of course I took many of the stereotypical
traits of each role to the extreme with this play.”

“After working on a film set, the characters from the play aren’t far
off from the truth and it’s hilarious,” said Katy Truluck, who plays
the role of the Writer.

“So Many Egos” is a first attempt at playwriting for Katz, who cites
Catherine Tate, Jennifer Saunders and Tina Fey as creative influences
due to their comedic writing style.

“Writing for film and television has been my media of choice, which is
probably why when I had to write a play for my playwriting class, I
wrote one about the movie industry,” said Katz.

Katz received the opportunity to have her written work read for an
audience as the grand prize for APO’s first one-act playwriting
contest.

“When I found out I won the APO contest I was honestly quite
surprised,” said Katz. “I didn’t expect to win because my play is very
unconventional in every sense of the word. It is just a fun piece.”

“As a writer, Stephanie has a sharp wit,” said Winter. “She also does
her homework. You get a real sense that Stephanie knows her characters
and what they do. They may be humorous, but the humor comes from a
very real place.”

A staged reading is one in which the actors block and
rehearse for their roles, but there is no formal staging as the
actors will perform with scripts in-hand. Staged readings are used to
test play readings before being published. This allows the playwright
to determine how an audience will respond to his or her script. Based
on this feedback, the playwright knows which revisions to make prior
to publishing.

“The script is amazing,” said Paul Wimberly, who plays the role of the
Sound Engineer. “Each character is perfectly portrayed. Steph did a
great job researching and putting it all together.”

For the months of February through April, interested APO members
work-shopped the play with Katz to fine tune the script prior to the
official cast being announced.

“I have had so much fun with the workeshopping process,” said Katz.
“It is really neat to hear actors reading your words and getting their
reactions, learning what jokes work, which ones fall flat, where the
timing is good, where it lags. It’s really helped me to make the play
even tighter and funnier.”

For more information about “So Many Egos” and future APO events
contact Winter at 985-549-3546.

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