Play by Writing Sems Major Takes Top Honor at Kennedy
By Amy Lunday
Eric Kalman Levitz, a sophomore in the Writing
Seminars, earned first place in the 10-minute
play category of the Kennedy Center American College
Theater Festival for his play Without
Parachutes. Levitz was awarded $1,000 and a fellowship
to attend an intensive two-week playwriting
program this summer at the Kennedy Center.
Levitz's work was honored as part of the festival's
Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program.
Without Parachutes tells the story of Charlie
and Carrie, a couple who are falling out of love,
and also out of the sky on a doomed airplane. As the plane
makes its emergency descent, they try to
distract themselves from the growing terror by pretending
they are still at Carrie's apartment, on the
afternoon they fell in love.
Levitz made it to the national festival after his play
won top honors in its category during a
regional competition held in January at Carnegie Mellon
University. At each of the eight regional
festivals, judges selected four to six of the best and most
diverse productions to be showcased at the
national festival, all expenses paid. Without Parachutes
was presented as a staged reading on April 18
with a cast of student actors who also had been named
finalists at regional festivals. Since its
establishment in 1969, the program has reached more than 16
million theatergoers and 400,000
college and university theater students nationwide.
Levitz is also pursuing a minor in the Theatre Arts and
Studies Program, and his play was part
of the program's New Play Festival this year. It will be
presented again this summer at the Source
Festival in Washington, D.C.
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