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Two New Plays Showing in Free Staged Readings by U of I Theatre Department

MOSCOW — The University of Idaho Department of Theatre Arts presents free online staged readings of two new works by U of I Master of Fine Arts playwrights in September.

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Both plays, part of the First Bite New Play Development Series, will be presented on Zoom and are directed by U of I MFA theatre distance students.

“Breaking the Bell Jar” by Sarah Hartwig, directed by Aileen Zeigler, depicts a college senior, Esther, trying to get an internship at a newspaper. But Hartwig’s professor won’t write her a letter of recommendation until she finishes reading “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath and completes the accompanying project. This might not sound like a big deal, but when Plath comes to life, the ordeal turns into a mental game that Esther isn’t ready for. “Breaking the Bell Jar” contains adult language and situations.

Register in advance to view “Breaking the Ball Jar” readings at 6 p.m. Sept. 23 and 2 p.m. Sept. 24.

The comedy “Silver Belles” by Lauren Groves, directed by Chaz Wolcot, focuses on a group of ladies residing at Silver Meadows Retirement Home and preparing for what may be their last Christmas together as the property converts into a luxury hotel.

Register in advance to view “Silver Belles” at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 and 2 p.m. Sept. 25.

“It’s always a thrill to hear these new plays for the first time,” said Robert Caisley, chair of the U of I Department of Theatre. “Some of the most exciting work we produce is the original work created by our students. There’s a special pride that comes with ushering a new work into the world for the first time.”

Cast and crews will be available for question-and-answer sessions immediately after each show.

For more information about these plays and other U of I theatre productions, view the 2022-23 season production schedule online.

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