Newman University will present student C.L. Smet’s nationally recognized, award-winning play “Fair Departure” for four evening performances. The show will be performed at 8 p.m. on April 16, 17, and 18, and at 7 p.m. on April 19. All performances will be in the Jabara Flexible Theatre, inside the De Mattias Fine Arts Center on the Newman Campus.
Smet, a senior theatre major at Newman, received the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Undergraduate Playwriting second-place award for her play “Fair Departure.” As part of her award she received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to receive her honor during the organization’s national gathering April 14-18. The theater festival features workshops with Broadway actors, playwrites and directors. The event also includes performances of regional award-winning college plays, a national acting competition and award ceremonies.
Smet submitted her work to the competition in November 2014. Early this year, it was selected as a top student-written play at one of the organization’s regional conferences in Minneapolis.
“Fair Departure” revolves around the suicide of the main character, Jackson, and the ability of his sister and roommates to process the loss, and how the loss affects the characters’ relationships. The plot is thickened with the addition of a replacement roommate, played by the same actor as Jackson:
“It’s about friendship, remembering the good parts of someone, and what constitutes a good departure,” says Smet, “When I act in plays, I always wonder the whole time, is every character in this play worth playing? So when I write plays, I try to make sure every character is worth playing. I try to make sure any actor who reads it would say, ‘Each of these characters have an interesting arc.’”
Tickets for all performances are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, military, and Newman University faculty and staff, and are free for Newman students. Tickets may be purchased at the door before each performance.
Meet the cast of “Fair Departure.” Actors Mary O’Neal (Parker), Trevor Farney (Grant), Josh Baalmann (Sky) and Sam Warner (Ethan) talk about their roles and share their thoughts about the pressures of performing Newman’s nationally recognized play.
Playwright C.L. Smet and director Rusty Carbaugh share their thoughts about Fair Departure.
In the video below, Smet discusses the creation of the play and its subject matter.