From comedy to drama, the 11th annual Long Story Shorts Festival has a performance for every audience. After a year of preparation, playwrights, actors and directors are ready for the stage.
LSS features performances of plays written by UNC students minoring in Writing for the Screen and Stage. It will be live in Studio 6 of the Swain Hall Black Box Theatre on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 3 and 7:30 p.m.
The minor, within the Department of Communication, is a two-year interdisciplinary program, according to the department's website. Students wrote their plays in the 2020 Introduction to Writing for the Screen and Stage class, according to Dana Coen, professor of the practice.
Coen, the artistic director and producer of LSS, as well as the director of the Writing for Screen and Stage minor, said he chooses eight plays from the introductory class to be developed further.
The idea for the festival came about in 2010, when Coen was reading the first set of short plays by a UNC Writing for the Screen and Stage class.
“I was struck by the ambition, depth of vision and singular voices of these undergraduates,” he said. “The experience encouraged me to imagine a play festival where student writers could participate in a process rarely experienced on their level.”
Stage Manager Naveed Moeed, a staff writer for Chatham Life & Style, is a new member of the LSS team. He said the Swain Hall Black Box Theatre has been upgraded over the past few years with the most up to date technology and lighting.
“Usually, people who have been involved with putting this on every year have come back year after year to do it again and again, and that says a lot about the level of professionalism and care with which this has been staged every year,” Moeed said. “I feel privileged to have been invited onto the crew and also amazed at the space that we are going to be using.”
Even with his critic hat on, Moeed said some of the works on display are outstanding and he would not be surprised if there was a very bright future ahead for a number of the graduates of the Writing for Screen and Stage minor.