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Theatre joins College Collaboration Commission

Oklahoma City University’s School of Theatre was selected as one of three schools around the country to take part in a collaborative playwright and production project.

OCU is working with the Farm Theater on its College Collaboration Project. The Farm Theater, a nonprofit organization that supports the development of early career artists, commissions a playwright to develop a play in collaboration with groups of students from three different universities. Each university involved in the process stages the play one at a time, and the playwright revises the script between productions.

Oklahoma City University will be the first on the list this year, with a public showing set for November. The selected playwright is Deneen Reynolds-Knott, a Brooklyn-based artist who holds an MFA in film from Columbia University.

Daniel Stone, OCU’s visiting professor of applied theatre, is organizing the university’s role in the project. Stone said Reynolds-Knott will begin collaborating with each university’s students via video conference this month on the script, then will write and workshop it over the summer, and meet again with the students to develop the final piece in the fall semester.

“This project gives our students experience in collaborating on a production, from start to finish, with an organization that has experience doing this kind of work in a professional setting,” Stone said.

The theme of the play will center on loneliness and how people seek connections and companions. Theater students are given some materials to read in preparation for the initial script planning.

Other universities participating are Centre College in Kentucky for a second staging in February 2023, and Furman University in South Carolina for the third installment in April 2023.

About Deneen Reynolds-Knott:

Reynolds-Knott has developed work with several theater organizations. Her full-length play “Baton” was selected for the 2018 Premiere Play Festival and received a workshop reading at Premiere Stages, the 2017 Playfest at the Orlando Shakespeare Company, and was a finalist for the 2017 PlayPenn and Bay Area Playwrights conferences. She participated in the writing residency at Liberation Theatre Company and Project Y’s Playwrights Group in 2018.

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