Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Goshen College's 2010 Peace Play explores judgment and forgiveness around violence

Event: Goshen College Peace Plays "A Gentler Place" by Jeff Carter, directed by Tamera Izlar
Date and time: Oct. 1 at 8 p.m., Oct. 2 at 4 p.m., Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. (ASL interpreted)
Location: Goshen College Umble Center
Cost: All tickets are $3 and can be purchased at the door

GOSHEN, Ind. – The winning play in the 2010 Goshen College Peace Play Contest is "A Gentler Place" by playwright Jeff Carter of San Francisco, Calif. Set in a rural Midwest college town, Carter's play gradually reveals a community's violent secret in such a way that the judgment and forgiveness of others come into direct opposition. The play raises the question: Does the passage of time become a mitigating factor in the justification of violence?

Carter's play will have its world premiere on stage during the college's Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 1 at 8 p.m., Oct. 2 at 4 p.m., Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. (ASL interpreted) in the college's Umble Center.

The play will be performed by Goshen College students and directed by new Assistant Professor of Theater Tamera Izlar. All three performances will include a follow-up conversation with the playwright and the play's director. Total running time for play and playwright conversation is one hour.

"A Gentler Place" is a thought-provoking play that attacks, uproots and threatens to expose a buried secret nestled deep within a rural township. This forgotten tragedy will push the new inhabitants to uncover the peaceful faade "a gentler place" could not hide. Within the play, an unsuspecting couple must wrestle internally as they choose between community acceptance, justice, vengeance and morality.

The cast includes junior Emily Bowman (Millersburg, Ind.), first-year student Martin Hofkamp (Peabody, Kan.) and sophomore Samuel Jones (Trail City, S.D.).

Carter, the playwright, is originally from Northern Maine and studied theater at the University of Maine and the former American Center for the Performing and Creative Arts in Boston.Carter has also been involved as an actor and director in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years. And his plays have been produced by groups in Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis and elsewhere.

A second play, "Pedestrian Casualty, Bronx USA" by Nina Mansfield of Greenwich, Conn., received honorable mention in this year's contest. Mansfield's play explores the issue of inequality and violence in American urban education. Due to time constraints, this play is not being produced at this time.

Both of these plays were selected from the more than 60 plays entered in the biennial contest. The next deadline for entries to the context is Dec. 31, 2011, with the winning production(s) taking place in fall 2012.

All seats for the performances cost $3 and can be purchased at the door.

Contact Professor of Communication and Theater Doug Liechty Caskey for contest rules and guidelines at, (574) 535-7393, or Goshen College, 1700 S. Main, Goshen, IN 46526.

The Goshen College Peace Play Contest, is underwritten by a grant from the Disciples of Peace, a Middlebury (Ind.) charitable fellowship, 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

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college's Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron's Best Buys in Education, "Colleges of Distinction," "Making a Difference College Guide" and U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" edition, which named Goshen a "least debt college." Visit

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Goshen College
1700 S Main St
Goshen, Indiana 46526
phone: +1 (574) 535-7569
fax: 535-7660