Creative Inquiry

Project Spotlights

Creative Inquiry Project Results in Kennedy Center Award for Playwriting

Mark Charney, Clemson University's resident playwright and director of theater, is the 2010 recipient of the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award given by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and Dramatic Publishing Co.

The award is in recognition of Charney's latest play, The Power Behind the Palette, a drama developed as part of a performing arts department Creative Inquiry project. It premiered in November 2009.

The Creative Inquiry team was led by professors Mark Charney and Rick Goodstein, both of the performing arts department, and included undergraduates Jeffrey Russell, Ryan McCrary, Andrew Herrera, Aimee Pavlich, Lindsay McCullough, Ashley Wood, Chris Onken, Terry Brannen, Cassidy Fishman and Rebecca McBride.

The play explores the interests, arguments and struggles of Ambroise Vollard, delving into the mystery surrounding his death and the inevitable conflicts between commerce and arts. With original writing, scenery, costumes, lighting and music - all conceived by students and faculty in performing arts, music, history, visual arts, philosophy and English - the production is a brilliant example of how Creative Inquiry intersects all disciplines at Clemson.

The David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award is presented to promote the writing and production of new plays while honoring and perpetuating the memory of David Mark Cohen, a professor of playwriting at the University of Texas-Austin.

As the winner of the 2010 Cohen award, Charney receives a $1,000 cash award, in addition to a professional reading at the national conference of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and an offer of publication by Dramatic Publishing.

By: Anne Jenkins (Decipher Issue 1, Fall 2012)