Monday night, Flyleaf Books hosted an event that featured two short plays written by UNC students who have been in the writing for the screen and stage program over the years.
Actors Michael Shannon, Jane Holding and John Paul Middlesworth did a dramatic reading of both “Death and Dignity” and “When the Bell Rings, You Shut the **** Up.” These two plays are a part of a larger collaborative book, “Twenty-Five Short Plays: Selected Works from the University of North Carolina Long Story Shorts Festival, 2011-2015.”
The bookstore also hosted Dana Coen, the editor of the book and the director of the UNC program. The plays included in the book were all written for the Long Story Shorts One Act Festival, which is approaching its seventh year here in Chapel Hill.
Each play in the book has a unique perspective on whatever topic the particular student chose to write about. Coen said that he never tells students what they can or cannot write — he only limits them by time availability and the number of actors they can have on the stage.
The first long short story performed, “Death and Dignity,” told the story of a medical examiner who had the job of determining the cause of death of his recently deceased wife. The intense emotional effect on the audience was visible throughout the 10-minute reading.