January 20, 2019  

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2019 Blaine Quarnstrom Playwright Series Featuring Robert Icke Coming to USM

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Opening the 2019 Spring semester, The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) English and Theatre programs will proudly host the 2019 Blaine Quarnstrom Playwright Series featuring playwright Robert Icke from Jan. 24 – 27.

This limited engagement will include two public Q&A sessions regarding Icke’s artistic process and his reflection on the current industry trends on Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Tatum Theatre and Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. in the Hartwig Theatre.

In addition, four dedicated writing workshops for students will start on the 25th and continue into the 27th. The Playwright Series will conclude with a special staged reading of one of Icke’s adapted version of the Greek Tragedy, The Oresteia, on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 11:30 a.m. in Woods Theatre.

Participation in the writing workshops is only open to English and Theatre students. However, both of the Q&A sessions as well as the staged reading are free and are open for all to attend.

Icke is Associate Director at the Almeida where he has adapted and directed works such as Mary Stuart (also West End), Uncle Vanya, Oresteia (also West End), and 1984 (co-created with Duncan Macmillan, also Broadway, West End, national and international tours).

Icke’s recent work is a new adaptation of Oedipus (Toneelgroep Amsterdam) and his future work includes The Crucible (Theater Basel) and Oresteia (Schauspiel Stuttgart). Icke has won the UK Theatre Award, the Critic’s Circle Award and the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Director and is the youngest winner of the Olivier Award for Best Director.

“Robert Icke is an incredible young British Theatre Artist with an influential and distinct point of view,” said USM Professor Robin Aronson. “His work is of the highest caliber; having him visit USM is an honor and a rare treat.”

Founded in 2006, The Blaine Quarnstrom Playwrights Series fosters the writing of dramatic literature by students from both the Theatre and English programs. The goal of the series is to foster student writing through Q&A sessions and creative writing workshops led by a leading American playwright. Over a single weekend, the playwright in residence structures four consecutive writing workshops derived from personal writing methods and techniques. In the past these sessions have focused on format writing for ten-minute plays, crafting expressive dialogue, and conceiving and developing effective structure and engaging characters.

To learn more, contact Professor Aronson at robin.aronson@usm.edu and 601-266-6442.