Each year, Geva’s Summer Academy focuses on a specific genre of theatre rotating between Shakespeare, Musical Theatre or Contemporary Theatre. Following the culmination of the 2010 Summer Academy, which focused on Contemporary Theatre, the 30 students enjoyed the remainder of the summer with their friends and families before heading back to school in the fall. One of those students, Catherine Caffera, was so inspired by what she had experienced during the intensive 5-week program at Geva, that she spent the remainder of that summer crafting her own piece of contemporary theatre – a one-act play, To the Beat of a Funeral March.
“The Geva Summer Academy is a truly amazing program,” said Catherine. “Without the exposure to theatre and the opening of my mind and heart, I could not have written To the Beat of a Funeral March.”
In April 2012, Catherine submitted her play to the VSA Playwright Discovery Program at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. This program invites middle and high school students to take a closer look at the world around them, examine how disability affects their lives and the lives of others, and express their views through the art of playwrighting.
The plot of To the Beat of a Funeral March concerns Gregor, a middle-aged man suffering from depression who kidnaps Anthony, a high-school student. The conversation between these two men during an extraordinarily tense period of time is at the heart of this story and begs the question: who is the real victim – kidnapper or captive?
Ms. Caffera is one of four recipients of the 28th Annual VSA Playwrights Discovery Award selected by a distinguished jury of theatre professionals. The other three playwrights hail from Colonial Heights, Virginia; Brooklyn, NY; and Elkhorn, Nebraska. Each of the playwrights receive a cash award and a trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in workshops and view a reading of their work on stage at the Kennedy Center on September 2.
“Catherine’s play is the perfect extension of our work here at the Summer Academy,” commented Skip Greer, Geva’s Director of Education. “She understands the role theatre plays as a catalyst for change. She’s such a bright, thoughtful and talented artist, and I’m just delighted at the success of her play.”
We wish her the best of luck this weekend as she witnesses her play being read on one of the world’s great stages.
Posted by Dawn Kellogg, Communications Manager