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Theater student to enjoy a cup of coffee at theatrical competition

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tech student Rachael Pace had her play accepted to the Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival Region VI competition.
  • Pace's 10-minute play is called "Coffee Shop Creatures."
  • The play is about a slightly contrived coffee shop where the barista attempts to control the customers.

Rachael Pace, a senior theater major, said she tends to spend too much time and money in coffee shops, where artsy students and hipsters flock, and she loves to people watch.

“That might sound a little creepy, but I think most of us do it,” she said. “I also notice in myself that I tend to act differently around different people, and I enjoy being perceived as ‘artsy’ and like to wear my hipster glasses and iconic clothes with the best of them. This might make me a little hypocritical, but I’m just an observer.”

This was her inspiration for her 10-minute play “Coffee Shop Creatures,” which was accepted as one of six plays to be work-shopped at the Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival Region VI competition at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 3 in Shreveport.

“I was honestly very surprised to be selected for the festival, especially out of 90 participants,” Pace said. “Upon entering college, one of my dreams was to someday be a playwright, and of course write earth-shattering plays that would make people weep and laugh from their cathartic experience, and receive many Tony Awards.”

The play is about a slightly contrived coffee shop where the barista attempts to control the customers. His goal is to create an artistic atmosphere in the shop by toying with people’s emotions. He has undercover workers mess with the people who they don’t want in the shop until they leave, thusly returning the shop to an artistic haven.

“I notice in myself that I tend to act differently around different people, and I enjoy being perceived as ‘artsy,’” Pace said. “This might make me a little hypocritical, but I’m just an observer.”

Dr. Kenneth Robbins, Pace’s playwriting professor, told her about the competition and helped her to enter. However, this is not the first time she has participated in the competition.

“I went last year as a scene partner with my friend and fellow student Payton Wilburn,” Pace said. “She had been nominated for an Irene Ryan Scholarship for her role as Emily in Tech’s 2011 production of ‘Our Town.’ But it is my first time to actually be entered into something for myself.”

Pace plans to graduate in May with her undergraduate degree in speech and theater, and she hopes to continue to do theater in some capacity.

“I would either like to do promotions and marketing for theaters or pursue scenic design as a career,” Pace said. “Graduate school is probably somewhere in the future. And a little bit of writing thrown in there would be nice, too.”

Written by Derek J. Amaya