DRAMA BY CALARTS PLAYWRIGHT TAKES AWARD IN STAGE COMPETITION.
``Onionheads,'' an original full-length play by CalArts graduate student Jesse Miller, has won the American College Theatre Festival's Michael Kanin Playwriting Award.
The play will be performed with its original California Institute of the Arts cast Monday and Tuesday at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
The play, originally staged in last year's CalArts New Plays Festival and directed by Paskaline Rybalka, was one of two original works from CalArts that made it to February's regional finals in Northern California. The judges, who had seen all of the regional plays, then selected ``Onionheads'' for the award.
Miller, who graduated from the college last year, also will receive $2,500 from the William Morris Agency Inc. Samuel French will publish the play, and the Dramatists Guild will provide her with active membership.
``Onionheads'' follows the plight of four onion farmers in the 1935 Oklahoma Dust Bowl. Two families struggle to breathe; brothers and sisters huddle to cope with the devil and the dust.
Two years ago, another CalArts student, Ellie Kriam, won the same award. This is the fourth CalArts play to win a major award at the festival in the last 10 years.
The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival is an annual project involving more than 900 student projects more than 400 colleges and universities nationwide.
``We are extremely pleased that `Onionheads' received this recognition and is being presented in the nation's capital,'' said Susan Solt, dean of CalArts' School of Theatre. ``It's particularly pleasing, too, to see a play that was nurtured here, worked on for two years, do so well.''
This year's showcase, retitled the New Works Festival, will be held at CalArts on May 12-16. Fifteen new works will be presented. All shows will be free and open to the public. For more information, call (661) 253-7832.