Matt Baganz Wins Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival's 2014 One-Act Play Contest

Matt Baganz Wins Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival's 2014 One-Act Play Contest

Intrigue! Twists! Dramatic denouement! Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival's 2014 One-Act Play Contest was full of this and more. The University of New Orleans' Department of Film, Theater, and Creative Arts debated at length over the stack of awesome submissions.

Here are the eight finalists, all of whom will receive a Panel Pass to this year's Festival:

  • "Scream" by Jean Blasiar, Pasadena, CA
  • "Wreckage" by Troy Worden, Bahama, NC
  • "The Art Collectors" by Mark Rosen, Olympia, WA
  • "Daughter in the Dark Room" by Jesse Stong, Montreal, Quebec
  • "Lovie's Spring" by Kelly Bancroft, Youngstown, OH
  • "Simple Melody" by Jill Bess, Anchorage, AK
  • "King Henry, Mayor," by Kevin McLellan, Memphis, TN
  • "Lonesome Road" by James Neal, Tempe, AZ

The team is thrilled to announce Matt Baganz the Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 One-Act Play Contest, for his submission "The Art of Conversation." After receiving a BA in creative writing in his home state of Wisconsin, Matt Baganz relocated to south Florida, where he became a teacher and earned his M.Ed. in multicultural education. Later, he spent a couple years teaching students by day and hypnotizing sharks by night in the British Virgin Islands. Matt currently teaches at an international school in Germany.

The judges loved the quick wit and nimble dialogue of "The Art of Conversation." The play features a Biology professor in his late 30s who analyzes the conversation at a dinner party where he knows no one, save his wife. Through the use of pop culture-infused repartee and a minimalist approach to stage and setting, "The Art of Conversation" powers through turn after turn until it plummets into a hilarious and sincere ending. One could say that the art of Matt Baganz's play lies in its grasp of the titular topic - how conversation helps us to realize truths about ourselves, as well as others.

"The Art of Conversation" will be published in Bayou magazine, the rocking literary journal from the University of New Orleans (Bayou Magazine), and will be featured in a staged reading this year's Festival. Matt's play will receive a full production at the 2015 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival (March 25-29, 2015). As part of his Grand Prize, Matt will also receive an All-Access Pass to both the 2014 and 2015 Festivals, as well as $1,500.

Congratulations Matt Baganz and to all of the finalists!

See the staged reading of "The Art of Conversation" on Sunday, March 23, 11 A.M. in the Hotel Monteleone's La Nouvelle Ballroom. We can't wait to see you at #TWF14! CLICK HERE to purchase a panel pass to see Matt's play and other great events.

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