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FSU Center for Creative Writing Announces Winners of One-Act Playwriting Competition
07/28/2015

The Frostburg Center for Creative Writing announces “Fifty Miles Away” by Jason Tinney of Frederick, Md., and Holly Morse-Ellington of Baltimore as the winner of the 2015 One-Act Playwriting Competition for the Frostburg One-Act Play Festival. The second-place play is “Death and the Psychiatrist” by James Hutchison of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and third place is “The Missed Connections Club” by Harold Taw and Chris Jeffries of Seattle, Wash.

Plays were judged on plot, character development, dialogue and overall quality. This year, more than 50 plays were submitted to the One-Act Playwriting Competition from across the U.S. and Canada.

The Center for Creative Writing will host its sixth annual One-Act Play Festival on Friday, Sept. 25, and Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Palace Theater in Frostburg. The festival showcases the top three winning plays of the 2015 One-Act Playwriting Competition with a full performance of the first-place play and staged readings of the second- and third-place plays. Performances will start at 7:30 p.m. both nights.

In “Fifty Miles Away,” Jack and Leeann, two strangers driving south on I-95, meet at a rest stop outside Richmond, Va. Jack, a rugged cowboy type, and Leeann, a quirky soul, are rootless tumbleweeds who discover common ground during a brief conversation at the rest stop picnic table. Intrigued by each other, they agree to continue meeting at designated rest stops where they exchange cigarettes and bourbon, humor and heartache. They travel the American highway, attempting to free themselves of the emotional chains forged by their respective life failures while dancing around a growing sense that they share more than the open road. As the time spent behind the wheel and the summer heat intensify, Jack and Leeann question which direction to turn and for which destination.

“Death and the Psychiatrist” is about Mortimer Graves, who shows up at psychiatrist Dr. Donna Thompson’s office claiming to be the Grim Reaper. The good doctor simply assumes that Mortimer is under the delusion that he is death. Although Mortimer says he is there to escort Thompson to the other side, the doctor convinces Mortimer that he should go into therapy to help him deal with his loneliness and emotional issues. With the doctor’s help, Mortimer confronts his emotional issues, and Thompson, with Mortimer’s help, re-evaluates her life priorities.

In “The Missed Connections Club,” a young nurse persuades a wistful retired teacher to cast a message in a bottle into the digital ocean of Craigslist “Missed Connections” ads in hopes of reuniting with a should-have-been love from 30 years ago.

Tickets for the performances, which will go on sale in mid-August, cost $5 for students and $10 for adults and can be purchased at the Center for Creative Writing and Main Street Books in Frostburg and at the Allegany Arts Council at 9 N. Centre St. in Cumberland.

Entries for the 2016 One-Act Playwriting Competition will be accepted starting Jan. 1.

For more information, contact the Center for Creative Writing at cwcenter@frostburg.edu or 301-687-4340, or visit the center’s web page at www.frostburg.edu/cwcenter.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.

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For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu