Phoenix Theatre seeking grad play submissions

Plenty of talent amongst University of Victoria theatre alumni

A tradition is growing in the University of Victoria’s theatre department – one that’s up to the alumni to uphold.

The department is searching for production proposals by former students now working professionally for their annual Spotlight on Alumni.

Plays must be created by an individual or group of at least 60 per cent grads in order to be eligible for the 11-show run during the 2012-13 season in the Roger Bishop theatre facilities at the Phoenix Theatre.

Spotlight on Alumni began in the 2002-03 season with the production of 1997 grad TJ Dawe’s The Slipknot.

“We invited him to showcase what graduates have been up to professionally,” said Phoenix Theatre manager and instructor Bindon Kinghorn. “It’s an opportunity for them to return to their alma mater and show the faculty and staff what they’ve done and (an opportunity) for current students to see what previous graduates have been doing in the professional world.”

Perhaps the most notable of the Spotlight on Alumni shows was 1998 grad Charles Ross’s One-Man Star Wars, a show that sold out 15 performances at the Phoenix in 2007. Since its beginnings on the North American Fringe circuit in 2002, Ross has performed the show some 1,200 times in more than 180 cities across four continents. Coincidentally, it was directed by Dawe.

The productions are mounted with students providing backstage and front-of-house duties.

“Our students talk to those performers and directors about what the department was like in their day,” Kinghorn said. “Students may get advice and information on how to try and work professionally in the theatre, which they may not otherwise get.”

Proposals should be for fully-produced plays running a minimum of 90 minutes. Find details at www.finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/submissions. Entry deadline is Jan. 13.

nnorth@saanichnews.com