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Festival of New Works

Student work showcased this spring

This spring Yakima Valley College’s Playmasters presented its Festival of New Works — original short plays written by YVC students. The event included two original plays, “Letters” written by Tanager Ryan and “War is a Short, Sweet Racket” written by Jose Rocha.

“Letters” is the story of a newlywed couple recently torn apart by war as they attempt to stay in contact with each other despite the terrible conflict their country faces. Cast members included Damon Alvarez, Daliah Nelson, Carlee Richard and Josh Rocha.

“War is a Short, Sweet Racket” leads the audience inside the mind of a troubled young man who has lost his faith in his country, his girlfriend back home and himself. Cast members included Damon Alvarez, Dalilah Nelson, Esmeralda Cruz and Abel Palmandez.

“Promoting student work is at the heart of everything we do in our department and we have discovered over time that one of the best ways to accomplish this goal is through the new works series,” said Alicia Bickley, director of drama.

Bickley said the new works experience gives YVC students an opportunity to initiate and go through their own processes as playwrights,  directors, actors or even as a combination of those things.

“Through writing their own plays and collaborating with student directors and actors, or even community or faculty directors and actors to workshop these plays, students have the unique opportunity to craft a play from the page all the way to the stage,” Bickley said.

Student playwright Tanager Ryan was excited to be part of the unique spring production and have the opportunity to showcase her work.

“I have dreamed of writing novels since I was nine years old, but I never suspected that I would be able to have one of my plays produced,” she said. “I have been a part of the drama program at West Valley [High School] for the last six or so years, being crew member, backstage manager and cast member, and now I am a playwright, too!”