Student playwright earns Kennedy Center award
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Junior communication student Zachary Boudreaux, left, discusses a scene from his play Parking Lot Babies with James Winter, Southeastern theater instructor.
Zachary Boudreaux, Junior Communication Student
James Winter, Theater Instructor
When Southeastern student Zachary Boudreaux brought a play he drafted to his theater instructor, he had some vague thoughts of ever seeing it performed on stage.
But whenAssistant ProfessorJames Winter assembled some students to do a reading of Boudreaux’s play, he saw a diamond in the rough. With some polish and hard work, Parking Lot Babies has not only been performed twice at Southeastern, but has advanced through state and regional theater festivals with Boudreaux receiving national recognition for his playwriting skills.
“I sort of mentored it along,” Winter said. “I knew as soon as I read it that it was good. When I had some students do a live reading, that confirmed my original thoughts. The students were buzzing about the script.”
A communication major from Walker, Boudreaux is one of three students named to a 2010 National Selection Team Fellowship by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. That meant a trip to Washington, D.C., for the National Festival at the Kennedy Center, where he participated in master classes and workshops presented by some of the top writers in the country and attended the productions being highlighted at the festival. Boudreaux also had the opportunity to interview for summer internships with theaters across the country.
“It’s a great opportunity and a very impressive achievement for a young writer,” said Winter, who originally directed Boudreaux’s play. “As a playwright myself, I would have done anything for this opportunity. Zach deserves all the accolades he is getting for this accomplishment.”
Boudreaux’s play, considered by KCACTF as one of the top 12 university productions last year, has also received awards for its graphic design, theatrical production, and support of original works.
Boudreaux, who plays one of the lead roles in the production, said the play is about a young writer trying to write a book about his relationship with his girlfriend.
“It’s about ‘20-somethings’ and their lives after high school,” he said. “The idea came from observations of my own friends’ experiences and their stories that I’ve fused together.
“In directing the play, Jim has brought my vision to life more than I could have ever imagined,” Boudreaux added. “I’m very new to this entire process. I think it was a cool opportunity for everyone involved. The cast and crew of the production are responsible for the success of Parking Lot Babies, hands down. Without all the workshops and the creative collaboration and input from all involved none of this would've been possible, and I really owe it all to them.”
The next step? Winter will work with Boudreaux as he continues to work on Parking Lot Babies to take it to its final form. Next year he expects the play to be published.
“Then Zach will start getting paid royalties when the play is performed by other groups,” Winter said. “That’s a great accomplishment for a student.”
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