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Eastern to Perform Phoenix New Play Series

Written by Kate Harner

            Willimantic, CT - Students from Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department will perform the Phoenix New Play Series on March 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            This year's New Play is "Quyne Paterson," written by Charlie Cheng and directed by Shane Kegler '10. The play takes place in a diner on Dec. 1, 1941 in Bakersfield, CA. Quyne Paterson speaks with his father for the first time in 12 years an hour before he is deployed to Japan. The cast includes Kara Williams '10, Luke Reinwald '10, Gia Kilbrith '11, Ben Donnel '11, Shannon Delahanty '12 and Corey Welden '13.

            Cheng, who attended Eastern for several years and graduated from the Academy of Arts University in 2002, drew inspiration from his own life while writing the play. "I hadn't seen my father in more than a decade, but I knew that if I called him, I would not get that great Hollywood ending that I wanted," said Cheng. "However, it is important to remember that life goes on and people will change. If you don't forgive them, you're stuck in limbo."

            Delahanty, who stars as Paterson's mother, agrees with Cheng's perspective. "This play is powerful and heartfelt," she said. "It teaches us all a valuable lesson - since you cannot change your past, you must learn to accept it and move forward with your life."

            The Phoenix New Play Series are rehearsed readings of new plays. Ellen Brodie, professor/director of theatre, has organized this year's series with the help of Kegler, president of Eastern's Drama Society.

            For more information, contact Lana Raymond at (860) 465-5325 or


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