Cassie M. Seinuk (MFA ’13) wins second place for Latino Playwriting in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival
Thursday, April 17, 2014
“From The Deep” received second place in the festival’s Award for Latino Playwriting, in addition to other recent recognition. Seinuk graduated from Lesley University in 2013 with a master of fine arts degree in creative writing, and the play explores what people do to survive in captivity.
“Cassie is an exceptionally strong dramatist who isn't afraid to tackle big issues in her plays,” applauds Jami Brandli, a Stage and Screen faculty member in Lesley’s MFA in Creative Writing low-residency program. “‘From the Deep’ is one of those plays that has complex characters, it’s highly theatrical and it’s emotionally honest.”
Seinuk is Cuban and Jewish, and grew up as a first-generation American in North Woodmere, NY.
“I've been a storyteller for as long as I can remember, and spent my childhood doing theater and writing fiction,” says Seinuk. “When I took my first playwriting class, I found that I was able to bring my two passions together and create evocative theatrical and personal moments in a live medium.”
Seinuk travels to Washington this month where there will be a reading of an excerpt from “From The Deep”. Along with the second place Latino Playwriting Award, Seinuk receives a $500 prize.
“From The Deep” tells the story of Andrew, a missing Boston University graduate student, who arrives in the surreal Land of the Missing and meets Ilan, an Israeli prisoner of war. Ilan must convince Andrew to play games, keep his mind active, and face the truth of his captivity before they both go missing forever.
In addition to the Kennedy Center honors, “From The Deep” won the 2014 Firehouse Center for the Arts Pestalozzi New Play Prize, and is a semi-finalist at nuVoices Festival at Actors' Theatre of Charlotte in North Carolina.
“My heart was tugged by the story of Israeli POW Gilad Shalit and his five years in captivity, and I wanted to understand how someone could mentally survive that,” says Seinuk, who lives in Somerville, Mass. “Then, after hearing more stories of young, successful, seemingly happy students disappearing, my need to know what happens to these people lead me to imagine a world where a prisoner of war and a missing student from opposite sides of the planet could come together and fight to survive.”
Seinuk graduated from Brandeis University in 2009 with a bachelor of arts in creative writing and theater arts. She is the co-founder and president of Interim Writers, a Boston-based playwrights collective that is focused on new play development, and she is “Playwright #2” at Boston Public Works, a new theater company in Boston. She is also an Actors Equity Association stage manager and freelances with many of the top theater companies in Greater Boston including the American Repertory Theater, Actors' Shakespeare Project and Boston Playwrights' Theatre. Learn more about her work at www.cassiemseinuk.com.
“I couldn't be more proud of her achievement,” notes Brandli, “and I'm looking forward to hearing about her future productions.”
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