Student playwright holds reading

Candler Lowe, Campus Carrier Arts &Living Editor

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Sophomore Jack Padgett (second from left) takes notes during the reading of his new play.

On. Aug. 28, the sound of laughter, groans and sniffles, filled the room where sophomore Jack Padgett held his first-ever read-through for his new script. 

Pagett, a creative writing major and theatre minor, had been working with the same story idea since high school, but  this year took the initiative to create the script for his idea.  

He originally tried to write the piece as a novel, but he discovered that the best way to present the ideas of his story would be in the format of a play. He had his first draft performed by volunteer actors at a scholarship audition in the spring of 2016, where instead of acting he was able to show his strength as a playwright. 

Padgett used some of his time this summer to work on what is now   – title in progress – “Impact.” He took the script for the scholarship performance, which consisted of one scene, and turned it into a full act, made up of four scenes.

Padgett put together the event and invited several students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, to take part in a feedback-based discussion. He printed off a copy of his script for everyone in attendance so that they could write down their thoughts. 

Padgett then introduced his peers to the plot of “Impact.” The play follows four people who tell the stories of a major event in their life. The events in the story show how tragedies, poor life choices, racial prejudice and abuse can affect people. 

Padgett felt that holding the read-through was important so that he would better be able to represent the topics that his script addresses. 

“The more that I can get people to react from it before it goes under the big world stage, then the better it will be for that point,” Padgett said. “Diversity of opinions can be a huge factor in how it is written.”

Anna Filippo, assistant  professor  of theatre, said that Padgett was passionate and ambitious and that having a read-through of his script was a good a move for him.

“He did the best thing by hearing his work,” Filippo said. “As writers we write and we see and we do not hear it enough.” 

“The point of the play is to get people to connect because I wanted it to be as real life as possible,” Padgett said. 

It has been important for Padgett to present his message in a way that anyone can connect with. Filippo pointed out that Padgett brought a lot of ideas into his script. 

“He also has different ideas about peoples’ individual impact on other people,” Filippo said. “Not necessarily through tragedy, but through life experiences.”

Padgett hopes to show that writing and submitting original work is something that anyone can do if they set their mind to it, and he has the faculty of the theatre department to encourage him along the way. 

“Once he gets all the input from faculty and stuff, [I think] he is planning on submitting it to play writing competitions or playwriting workshops,” Hannah Hammond, visiting professor of theatre said. 

Although Padgett is not sure of the future of his script, he hopes to hold another read-through later this semester.

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