‘Swing of the Sea’ Wins KCACTF National Student Playwright Award

By schwartzsa | February 28, 2012

The Swing of the Sea was the 2011 winner of the Mimi and Harold Steinberg National Student Playwriting Award, as part of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival’s Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards program. This award is in recognition of the outstanding, full length, student-written play that premiered at a college or university during the 2011 calendar year. Mark Wade, Assistant Professor and Director of Theater Arts, was offered the play by young playwright Molly Hagan.

Hagan, a 2012 graduate of Ohio State University, is a playwright based out of Brooklyn. In her junior year she wrote a 10-minute play, A Brief History of the Cosmos, which earned her an invitation to that year’s KCACTF festival. It was there that she met and befriended Mark Wade. Early in 2011, Wade asked if he could produce any of Hagan’s plays at Arcadia, and she gave him The Swing of the Sea.

“We developed the play with Molly,” says Wade. “She came and worked on the play with us.  She spent five days in rehearsals at different points of the process and made changes based on the work she was seeing.”

Arcadia University’s production of The Swing of the Sea, originally presented on Arcadia’s MainStage located at the Spruance Fine Arts Center in December 2011, was among eight plays selected for performance at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), held at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Jan. 10-14.

“Not long after I arrived on campus, Professor Mark Wade told me that Swing of the Sea was going to be a good one,” says Arcadia President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III, “so I invited a good friend and his partner to join me and Kim. It was the first Arcadia play we had seen, and it was amazing—but what amazed us then was the quality and imagination of the acting, set design and production.  I now understand that the playwright actually came to campus to watch our students rehearse and modified the script as a result. Our students can truly be said to have participated in giving life to this remarkable play. Congratulations to Professor Wade and his students!”