2006-2007

WPI Theatre Program Boasts Two Scoops of French Vanilla in Campus and New York City Performances


"French Vanilla," a 15-minute, smartly written madcap comedy written by two WPI graduates, Catherine "Cat" Darensbourg and Elliot Field, has been selected to be performed as part of the 32nd annual prestigious Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival on June 8 at The Chernuchin in New York City. Before heading to the Big Apple, however, the play will be performed Tuesday, June 5 at WPI's Little Theatre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets to on-campus performance are free and available after 6 p.m. in Riley Commons.

Play Selected for Prestigious Samuel French Festival in NYC on June 8

What

French Vanilla, a 15-minute, smartly written madcap comedy written by two Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) graduates, Catherine "Cat" Darensbourg and Elliot Field, has been selected to be performed as part of the 32nd annual prestigious Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival in New York City.

When

WPI: Tuesday, June 5, 2007
7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Tickets: Free; available after 6 p.m. in Riley Commons.

and

NYC: Friday, June 8, 2007
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $18; reservations may be placed by calling 212-769-7973 ext. 3, or
via email at sfreservations@hedgehog.net

Where

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Little Theatre
100 Institute Road
Worcester, Mass.

and

The Chernuchin
The American Theatre of Actors
314 West 54th Street
New York, NY

About the Play

French Vanilla, is one of 135 short plays to be featured at the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival and is directed by WPI student James O. "Jamo" Hanlan and produced by Michael Schenck, also a WPI student. It spotlights two longtime, strictly platonic roommates who discover after years of living together that they have unwittingly become common-law husband and wife. The play features acting by New Voices veterans Christopher Osborn, Sara Strecker, David Stechman, and Lindsey Lucier. (New Voices is one of several theatre groups that call WPI home.) This is the fourth year in a row that one of Darensbourg's plays has been selected for the festival.

The playwrights, director, producer, most of the cast members of French Vanilla, and lighting designer Christopher Kingsley are members of WPI's Rho Kappa "cast," or chapter, of Alpha Psi Omega, the national dramatic honor fraternity. French Vanilla debuted in Alpha Psi Omega's December 2006 24-hour theatrical show at WPI. In the June campus performance, the play will be staged twice to showcase a student team's required summer project on stage lighting.

About the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival

The Samuel French Off-Off Broadway festival started in 1975 and is Manhattan's oldest continuous short play festival. More than 360 theatre companies and schools have participated in the festival's 31, including companies from coast to coast as well as abroad from Canada and England. This festival has served as a doorway to future success for many aspiring writers. Over the years, 163 submitted plays have been published, and many of the participants have become established, award-winning playwrights. Initial selections of festival participants are made based on a rating system developed between Samuel French Inc. and Love Creek Productions. Each submission is read by the Samuel French Inc. editorial staff and Love Creek Productions artistic staff. Each of the first 12 nights of the festival a full program of original short plays is performed, with a panel of judges, comprised of New York area theater professionals, critics, and educators, on hand to nominate one or more of the evening's plays as finalists, who will then perform on the last day of the Festival. Members of the Samuel French Inc. Editorial Department will attend the final performance to offer publication contracts to authors of selected plays.

May 31, 2007

Contact: Lorraine U. Martinelle, Public Relations Specialist, +1-508-831-6425, lurbans@wpi.edu Eileen Brangan Mell, Director of Public Relations, +1-508-831-6785, ebmell@wpi.edu