Newman University theatre student C.L. Smet received a green light to advance to a national competition from judges at the Region V conference of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). Smet and her play, entitled "Every Tuesday," will advance to the national festival set for April 14-19, 2014 in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Smet was among a group of students representing Newman University Theatre at the Region V conference, Jan. 19-24 at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Region V includes colleges in Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota. Top students from the KCACTF eight regions will be represented at the national festival. If Smet wins, she will receive a scholarship, her play will be published, Newman will receive a financial endowment, and Smet's play will be performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in 2015.
"I could not be more proud of this gifted and much deserving student," said Newman University Director of Theatre Mark Mannette. "She is an accomplished actress and now she has proven herself a gifted playwright as well. The Newman Theatre program has a number of outstanding students and she is definitely one of them. Hopefully, other quality students will choose to attend Newman and participate in our growing Performing Arts programs."
Smet is a theatre and theology student from Wichita, Kan. She began writing "Every Tuesday" when she was a freshman at Newman in the spring 2012 semester, and finished her first draft in spring 2013 in her playwriting class.
"I have been writing since I was a kid, but nothing really good until high school," Smet said.
Smet said she hopes to become a playwright and act as well in her future. She plans to attend a graduate school for playwriting and hopes to work for a playwriting company as a first step in a professional career.
"Every Tuesday" is about a girl named Lillium, who has a car accident while driving to her first day of college at Brown University and is left in a coma. The play uses Lillium's parents and her best friend Braedon to guide the story, and takes a journey into Lillium's mind via flashbacks, which help the audience understand who Lillium really was and how unhappy she was in her life. To keep her alive but brain dead or to unplug her is the main debate of the plot. Her parents are in the worst dilemma of their lives and Lillium's mother cannot make a decision. Only Braedon really knows how Lillium felt before the accident.
Smet said she is excited that her friend and fellow student Rusty Carbaugh will produce the play as part of the One-Act Play Festival at Newman University April 10-12. She said this will help her recognize any faults and allow her to re-write the play into a better version, which she can present at the national festival.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: Feb. 11, 2014
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated where Smet's play will be performed if it is selected at the national festival. If selected, the play will be performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in 2015.