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Playwright earns award for original production

By Alec Jennings
University News Service
March 11, 2009

House of Several Stories

Travis Hackett and Ashley Rhodes star in the Texas State production of A. John Boulanger's 'House of Several Stories.'

Texas State University-San Marcos graduate student A. John Boulanger has been announced as winner of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Student Playwriting Award.

Boulanger’s “House of Several Stories” was originally selected as one of seven productions to be presented at the Regional Festival hosted by Texas State during the last week of February. Later chosen from 56 plays from eight regions across the country, "House of Several Stories" was selected as one of only four to be presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. It was the first time a Texas State production advanced through the festival to the Kennedy Center.

"Winning this year's award is a huge honor; one that I'm not quite sure has fully sunk in yet," said Boulanger.  "I'm still dumbfounded when I recall some of the names of past winners."

Boulanger will receive a $2,500 prize for earning the award as well as membership in the Dramatists Guild, something he said is a big step towards building a name in the profession. It also comes with a publishing option with Samuel French, a summer residency at the Sundance Theatre Laboratory and contacts with literary agents.  

 "Membership into the Dramatist Guild of America alone is a great step forward as a writer; the resources it provides are invaluable," he said.  "The publishing option with Samuel French will hopefully lead to the script reaching a wider audience through future productions across the country." 

"House of Several Stories" has been described as a dark comedy about a dysfunctional family, their unusual guests and how stories help fill vacuums in people's lives caused by death, loss and dysfunction.

Boulanger earned a bachelor of fine arts in directing from Texas State in 2005 and will graduate in May with a master of arts in playwriting. Through winning the award, he hopes to continue his efforts writing plays for audiences with a newly invigorated creative energy.

"Winning this award has personally fueled a desire within me to persevere with my craft. I'm excited about future writing projects, which I have started in the past, but which have resided as mere icons on my laptop for months, in some cases years," he said. "With this award comes a great responsibility, if only to myself."

"House of Several Stories" will be performed in the Family Theatre at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. For more information about Boulanger or his work, please contact the theatre department at (512) 245-2147.