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Theatre Professor Jennifer Barclay Wins IRNE Award

Congratulations to Assistant Professor of Theatre Jennifer Barclay, in UMD’s School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS), who received a 2019 Best New Play (Small Theater) Award for “Ripe Frenzy,” a provocative play infusing innovative storytelling and immersive media projections to explore mass shootings in small town America. The play raises questions at the intersections of social values, the media and gun violence.

Awarded by Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE),  IRNE Awards recognize talent and achievement in the Boston theater community, where "Ripe Frenzy" premiered in 2017 at the New Repertory Theatre. The play also ran at Synchronicity Theatre in Atlanta, GA and Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles, CA as part of a National New Play Network rolling world premiere.

"It’s a thrill to be honored for a production that I’m incredibly proud of, and one that was a true collaborative success,” says Barclay.

Early in the playwriting process Barclay partnered with TDPS colleague Jared Mezzocchi, associate professor and projection design specialist,  to incorporate video projection into the play as an integral character in the story. This summer Mezzocchi will direct a production of  “Ripe Frenzy” at Andy's Summer Playhouse, where he is producing artistic director for this nearly 50-year old summer youth theater program in Wilton, NH.

"Ripe Frenzy" was also awarded the 2016 National New Play Network Smith Prize for Political Theatre and the 2018 Dramatists Guild Writers Alliance Grant.

(From right, Veronika Duerr, Stacy Fischer and Samantha Richert on stage in “Ripe Frenzy” by Jennifer Barclay, produced at New Repertory Theatre in Boston in 2018. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky; Jennifer Barclay (second photograph), is assistant professor of theater at UMD).

Date of Publication: 
Monday, May 06, 2019