NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - As part of a nationwide, month-long script reading program presented by the New York-based company No Passport, the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present a special staged reading of the new play "Spark," written by OBIE-Award winning playwright Caridad Svich. The reading will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA Campus. Admission is free.
"Spark" is about three sisters, one of whom has just returned to her small town from five years of serving in the military, said SFA Professor of Theatre Jason Davids Scott, who will be directing the staged reading.
"It is an intimate and intense family drama that not only explores a returning soldier's homecoming, but the ways in which military service has a profound effect on those left behind at home," Scott said.
Svich notes that the national script-reading scheme, presented the same month as Veteran's Day and in the shadow of the national elections, "has been developed to honor U.S. war veterans, shed light on the plight of female veterans in particular, and to raise increased awareness for their stories," she said.
Scott, who recently directed the SFA School of Theatre Summer Repertory production of "Steel Magnolias," agrees that the timing of the play makes it all the more powerful.
"This is not a play that takes sides or tries to be political," he said. "It's an honest look at an American family during wartime. Most of us have family and friends who have returned from military service or are currently serving. 'Spark' brings to light a number of emotional and interpersonal issues that are often overlooked in our more abstract public discussions about the military and foreign policy."
The cast of "Spark" includes new professor Laura Rikard, who will be seen in a small part in the upcoming film "Lincoln," alongside SFA School of Theatre students Kurt Bilanoski, Molly Dyer, Ingunn Kristjansdottir and Corinne Shady. SFA alumnus and acting teacher Brad Maule will also perform in a key, supporting role.
The play, presented in two-acts with five characters, focuses on poverty in America, what happens when soldiers come home, and the strength of family. It will be presented in more than a dozen U.S. theatres and venues and at more than 15 universities.
For more information about "Spark," visit www.nopassport.org/spark. For information about the SFA reading on Nov. 26, contact the SFA College of Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS (2787).