Thursday, April 8, 2010

In the Wings: Young Playwrights Project. Meet Malena de la Fuente, author of Violins.

Malena de la Fuente has written Violins for Young Playwrights Project, the final production of the 2009-2010 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Malena described how she became interested in submitting a script to Young Playwrights Project.

"I went to the first Writing a Play class that Civic Theatre offered in September. That was really fun and really instructive – I learned a lot from that," she said. "Then I heard about Young Playwrights Project and I thought, 'Why not? I want to see if I can write a script.'"

The plot of Violins came from Malena's thoughts about what life might hold for her and her interests.

"I was thinking, 'When I have a job, what would happen if I'm not happy with it? What if I lead a terrible life because I don't like my job?' Then I asked, 'What if want to be a writer, and I love writing, but what if I don't make it as a writer?' And I wanted to see what would happen, so I wrote Violins."

Malena described some of the characters in the play and their relationships.

"First the audience meets Charlie and James," she said. "James is part of a group of street musicians and artists. James has saved Charlie from being mugged. Charlie is a businessman, so you see the two different social classes meet and they become friends. The play is about their relationship and how it evolves, and also about the differences in the classes."

After Violins was selected to be part of Young Playwrights Project, Malena worked with her mentor, Erica McGeady, to strengthen the script.

"I had made two characters - the waitress and policeman - stereotypical villains, but I wanted them to seem more like real people so we changed that," Malena said. "We also changed the ending and extended it and put in a lot of explanations. The characterizations were good, but then we expanded on them. I learned from Erica that if something doesn't advance the plot, then you really don’t need it in the script."

Malena concluded by describing how she may feel seeing her script performed.

"In my play, all the characters are grown-ups. I'll have to see how it works out to have kids act it out. I'm sure they'll be great, but it'll be different from what I expected," she said. "Sherri Bundy, the director, will do a great job. I will be proud to see my play performed."

Young Playwrights Project runs from Friday, April 16 through Sunday, April 18 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m.; the show on Sunday afternoon begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site,

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