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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Program takes writing from page to stage

Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION
The University Writing Center’s program will culminate in a performance at the black box theatre in Hullabaloo Hall.
Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION The University Writing Center’s program will culminate in a performance at the black box theatre in Hullabaloo Hall.

A new program within the University Writing Center aims to further the arts at Texas A&M and create a fast-paced environment for writers to better learn their craft.
This year, the Writing Center will hold its first “Black Box Residency Program,” an initiative to teach selected participants how to create and perform original work.
The residency — applications for which will be due Friday — will last five weeks, focusing first on writing improvement skills and then on performing in front of a public audience.
Florence Davies, facilitator behind the residency and administrator at the University Writing Center, said the idea for the program came from two former students who worked in the center.
“This is the first year that we decided to go ahead and try it out,” Davies said. “It was actually a project idea brought to us, an idea of combining a workshop that focuses not only on the creative material but also the performance of that material.”
Since this is a pilot event, Davies said this year the planning was focused more on creating a small fast-paced residency program that would allow students to decide between writing fiction or poetry.
“We are trying to figure out exactly what that public performance is going to look like,” Davies said. “One of the ideas we had is to kind of, as the writers are reading their work and reading it to the public, we were thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have that immediate feedback from the audience and maybe getting the audience to write comment cards or give the writers some feedback on the reading itself?’”
Davies said doctoral students will teach the writing workshops and Candace Schaefer, associate director in the University Writing Center, will teach the performance workshops.
Schaefer said she hopes to help the residency participants — with different styles and varying levels of experience — become comfortable presenting their work to the public.
Schaefer said she’s always been interested in supporting the writing life and creative spirit at Texas A&M.
“I’m hoping that the resident participants get a venue for their work, which I think is lacking in this community and I also hope they get a terrific audience for their work because the more enthusiastic the audiences become the bigger the enthusiasm grows for a program like this,” Schaefer said.
One of the students behind the original idea for the program, Madison Parker, Class of 2014 and president of Mic Check Poetry, said her original hope for the program was to grow the creative atmosphere at A&M.
“We thought that it would be a really cool outlet for combining both of these to kind of give other A&M students the opportunity to engage in this and really enhance their craft as a whole,” Parker said.
The final performance will be given at 7 p.m. April 11 in the black box theatre in Hullabaloo Hall.

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