Penn State Professor To Debut Original Play In New York City
Playwriting has always been a hobby for Bellisario College of Communications professor Pam Monk, but now one of her passion projects is hitting the big stage: Her original play “The Sixth Day” will debut in New York later this year.
“The Sixth Day” is a comedic take on the Book of Genesis about the day God created man. In the play, God is an emo character who enlists the Devil’s help, hiring him as his marketing agent. They banter back and forth as God creates man on Earth.
Monk, who enjoys crafting short stories in her free time, says freelancing plays works the same way you freelance anything — sending your work to people you think might be interested. She often sends her plays to many theaters at once, hoping that she’ll hook someone on her idea.
“I love writing plays and it’s a game to see if I can get anyone else to do them,” Monk said.
Monk said she sends her work to so many places she can’t remember them all, so when she got an email from Nick Walsh, a member of the New Light Theatre Project in New York City, she was surprised. She even laughed, telling Walsh that she didn’t believe she was the person he had intended to contact. Turns out, she was exactly who he wanted to talk to.
Monk is now a part of the New Light Theatre Project’s collaborative Darkroom program, which routinely brings in undiscovered playwrights and produces their 15-minute original works in order to “develop” their writing talents (hence the name Darkroom). Monk will put on her show in New York’s swanky downtown Access Theater.
The next step is to recruit a director and actors to put on “The Sixth Day.” This is not Monk’s first rodeo, though — she has many actor friends in New York that she hopes will be a part of the project. She’ll then work to develop the show’s visuals, which currently only exist on paper. There’s no official date for the show’s debut, but Monk hopes to have it on the stage by mid-summer.
Monk says she loves teaching in State College and doesn’t want to be plucked from her life, but she did note that she wouldn’t mind having a life like Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Margaret Edson. Edson wrote one play, “Wit,” won the Pulitzer, and settled back into her simple life as a teacher in Georgia.
“Yeah, I’d like to write one immortal play,” she said “That’d be cool.”