NLU’s Playfest Will Stage Seven Student-Written Dramas on May 11

All are welcome to attend free theater performances as students in National Louis University’s M.S. in Written Communication program present Playfest, an afternoon of performances of their original plays.

Chicago theater lovers have had plenty of applause for previous Playfest work. For the past three years, in fact, Playfest writers have had their plays picked up and produced at theater festivals and other venues outside NLU.

This year’s lineup of staged readings includes “Once Upon a Cabbage,” a dramatic presentation authored by Joanne Koch, Ph.D., longtime director of the M.S. in Written Communication program. Koch’s work has been produced in theaters around the country.

Playfest is free and open to the public, but please RSVP here.

The M.S. in Written Communication program produces Playfest to assist recent alumni and current student playwrights or screenwriters with the next steps in their writing process. The program provides them a venue in which Chicagoland theatrical directors direct local actors to perform staged readings of the original plays. They are presented before a live audience.

Playfest will run from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 in the second-floor atrium of National Louis University’s Chicago campus, 122 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

Writers and aspiring writers who are interested in the M.S. in Written Communication program are especially encouraged to attend.

The Playfest schedule follows.

The Ties That Bind – 12:30 p.m. 

written by Phyllis Chapman (Screenplay)

directed by Johnny Garcia

A chance encounter of innocence, reckless abandon, and lustful longing, bonds two families to a secret shame in Greenwood, Mississippi.


Bunk Beds – 1:25 p.m.

written by Diana Slaviero (Monologue)

directed by Maurice Proffit

A woman recalls her colorful college antics.


Peaches – 1:30 p.m. 

written by Leanne Kelly (Screenplay)

directed by Maurice Proffit

Set in rural Indiana, unassuming store clerk, Lila, defies her quiet nature and is a guardian angel for a struggling teen Mom on the brink of self-harm.


The Frog in the Vault – 2:00 p.m.

written by Michael Rossi (Short-Play)

directed by Maurice Proffit

Sharif, a bright yet underprivileged student, receives a life-changing scholarship offer. However, the prize may be based on a forged SAT test, a lie that his favorite teacher may know something about.


A Stolen Life – 2:15 p.m.

written by Andrea Diaz (Screenplay)

directed by Lucy Pabst

In the dead of night, a nurse steals away a newborn child from a teen mother. Eighteen years later, a tip from a stranger gives that mother, now a police detective, hope she’ll reunite with her long-lost daughter.


Once Upon a Cabbage – 3:10 p.m.

written by Dr. Joanne Koch (Short Play)

directed by Joan Mazzonelli.

Alice Guy, a mere struggling young secretary in 1890s Paris, creates one of the first moving pictures in the world. (The play concludes with a short montage of rare clips from the hundreds of films Alice went on to make in France and America. She was the first woman film director and the first woman to head a movie studio in the U.S.)


 Happily Ever After – 3:30 p.m.

written by Grover Wake (Screenplay)

directed by Wilson Cain

In this retelling of the French folktale “Bluebeard,” a newlywed couple is connected by loneliness but eventually separated by their individual needs. Tempted by wealth and luxury, the bride must decide between leaving her fate to her murderous husband or taking it into her own hands.

NOTE: Some of the material presented contains adult language and sexual situations and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Warning: These plays may invoke an emotional trigger for some audience members. Please note that “Peaches” is about suicide and “The Ties That Bind” deals with a scene about rape.



Learn more about National Louis University’s Master’s in Written Communication program