Goshen College’s 2014 Peace Play winner, ‘Out From Under With Mary,’ takes the stage Oct. 3

Event: Goshen College Peace Plays – “Out From Under With Mary” by Chris Shaw Swanson (first place), directed by Goshen College senior Angel Reyes; “I Scream, You Scream” by Mattie Rydalch (second place), directed by Goshen College junior Martin Flowers
Date and time: Friday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 4 at 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. (ASL interpreted)
Location: Goshen College Umble Center
Cost: All tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door

The winning plays in the 2014 Goshen College Peace Play Contest – the only contest devoted solely to plays about peace and peace-related topics in the United States – will take center stage during the college’s Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 3 at 8 p.m., Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. and Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. (ASL interpreted) in the college’s Umble Center. The plays will be directed by and performed by Goshen College students.

The winning play, “Out From Under With Mary” by Chris Shaw Swanson, from Westerville, Ohio, depicts the interaction between two women at an inner city methadone clinic. There for a drug test, the suburban housewife Diane discovers that there’s more to homeless multisyllabic-speaking Mary than meets the ear…and eye. By presenting the possibility that two women from vastly different economic circumstances can find common ground, this play promotes the ideas of tolerance and peace through understanding. The play will be directed by Angel Reyes, a Goshen College senior double major in theater and Spanish.

“I am drawn to the interaction between two women who come from completely different worlds and yet share certain commonalities that make this interaction life changing,” Reyes said. “I hope that the audience will take away a new perspective with how they view people from social niches other than their own and move beyond their differences to find opportunity to truly connect.”

The cast includes Lea Ramer, a sophomore from Fort Collins, Colorado, as Mary, and Kasey Prentice, a first-year from Angola, Indiana, as Diane.

In addition to winning the peace play contest, Chris Shaw Swanson received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for 2012 in playwriting and is the recipient of more than 20 awards for individual plays. Publishers of her work include Smith & Kraus, Meriwether, and the International Centre for Women Playwrights. She is a member of the International Centre for Women Playwrights as well as the Dramatists Guild of America.

The second place play in the 2014 contest is “I Scream, You Scream” by Mattie Rydalch of Rexburg, Idaho. In this play, the character Sonny is the only child in a family of ice cream devotees. They love ice cream so much that they’ve made it their religion. But Sonny has known since childhood that he is a balloon artist, and as soon as he graduates from high school he breaks this news to his parents with heartbreaking consequences.

Martin Flowers, a junior from Nappannee, Indiana, will direct this play. The cast includes Brett Conrad, a senior from Lakewood, Colorado; Morgan Yordy, a first-year from Rochelle, Illinois; and Jesse Bontreger, a sophomore from Goshen.

An honorable mention went to to Andrew Ade of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, for his play, “Daughters of Africa.”

All seats for the performances cost $5 and can be purchased at the door or at the Goshen College Welcome Center. Call (574) 535-7566 for more information.

All three of these plays were selected from the more than 50 plays entered in the biennial contest, which is in its 32nd year (established in 1982). The next contest deadline for entering one-act play scripts is December 31, 2015.  The winning entry will be produced in 2016. Contact Goshen College Director of Theater Doug Liechty Caskey for contest rules and guidelines at douglc@goshen.edu or 574-535-7393.

The Goshen College Peace Play Contest is underwritten by a grant from the Disciples of Peace, a Middlebury (Ind.) charitable fellowship, and was established in 1982. According to Caskey, this is the only contest devoted solely to plays about peace and peace-related topics in the United States of which he has knowledge.

Previous winners of the Peace Play Contest are:

1982 – “The Dove, the Hawk and the Phoenix,” by Norman A. Bert
1984 – “After the First Death,” by Richard Strayton
1986 – “Shadows,” by Scott Memmer
1988 – “Eminent Domain” by Ronald L. Dye
1990 – “Rock In A Weary Land” by Marian Towne
1994 – “Andromache in Baghdad” by Norma Jenckes
1998 – “Bombers” by Jonathan Graham, first place; and “Catch a Falling Star” by Darrel deChabey, second place
2000 – “Where Are You From?” by Helayne Schiff, first place; and “Topaz” by Kenny Berkowitz, second place
2002 – “The Photo Shoot” by John Wolfson, first place; and “The Story” by Rebecca Schwarz, second place
2004 – “Enough” by Patricia Montley, first place; and “In a Time of War” by Eric Diener Meyer, second place.
2006 – “Baby Boom” by Lia Romeo, first place, and “Acts of Contrition” by Patricia Montley, second place
2008 – “Here to Serve You” by Barbara Lindsay, first place; and “29 Questions” by Hillary Rollins, second place
2010 – “A Gentler Place” by Jeff Carter, first place; and “Pedestrian Casualty, Bronx USA” by Nina Mansfield, second place
2012 – “Mr. Maurizio” by Mic Weinblatt, first place; “Seldom is Heard” by Mary Steelsmith, second place; “Stay Tuned,” by 1999 Goshen College graduate Peter Eash-Scott, honorable mention.
2014 – “Out From Under With Mary” by Chris Shaw Swanson, first place; “I Scream, You Scream” by Mattie Rydalch, second place; and “Daughters of Africa” by Andrew Ade, honorable mention.