Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


June 9, 2010
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.





June 12 and 13, 2010


FAIRFAX, Va., May 28, 2010 Theater of the First Amendment (TFA), George Mason University’s professional theater company in residence, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, announces its 10th Annual First Light Discovery Program, a weekend devoted to stage readings of new work by professional, student and community playwrights. The First Light Discovery Program will take place in TheaterSpace on Mason’s Fairfax Campus on Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13. This year’s 10th anniversary program is sponsored by George Mason University President Alan Merten and Mrs. Sally Merten.

TFA will also present the 2010 D’Andrea Award to Helen Hayes Award-winning playwright Karen Zacarías. The second annual award, the D’Andrea Award is named for Paul D’Andrea, TFA’s founder and a Robinson professor in English and theater at George Mason University, and is presented to playwrights whose work has been central to TFA’s mission. TFA has produced two of Zacarías’ plays, “The Sins of Sor Juana” during its 1999-2000 season and “Mariela in the Desert” during its 2007-2008 season.

First Light begins on June 12 at 3 p.m. with the presentation of the D’Andrea Award to Zacarías, immediately followed by a staged reading of “The Electric Baby Play” by Stefanie Zadravec, the recipient of the 2009 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play. The tragic tale of a group of strangers who gather together after a young man is killed in a car accident to care for a dying baby, Zadravec told fellow playwright Adam Szymkowicz in a blog interview, “[the play] is about the stories we create for our lives in order to find meaning in tragedy … as in a fairy tale, the characters connect with an unquestioned immediacy, they make mistakes, they reach clarity.”

At 6 p.m., TFA presents “STAY,” a kaleidoscope fusion of theater, dance and mixed media, conceived by College of Visual and Performing Arts faculty Heather McDonald and Susan Shields, with SLAM multimedia by Greg Crane. McDonald also serves as TFA’s co-artistic director with Rick Davis.

The program continues on June 13 at 1 p.m. with the Generations Playwriting Project, which includes staged readings of four brief plays written by members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and students from A Class Act – Acting for Young People. The plays include “The Case of the Vase with the Face” by Emma Kibblewhite and Stephanie Johnson, “The Teak Birdhouse” by Manny Pablo, “Ms. Understood” by Maddie Henris and “Technologically Challenged” by Phyllis Furdell.

The program draws to a close with staged readings of the two winning plays from TFA’s Student Playwriting and Mentorship Program, which include “A Godless Man” by John Xander Yi at 3 p.m., and “Ice Man” by Liz Long at 5 p.m.

The First Light Discovery Program is free, but reservations are recommended. Please call (703) 993-2195 or e-mail and specify the events that you would like to attend. For more information about the First Light Discovery Program or other Theater of the First Amendment performances, please visit


Theater of the First Amendment

TFA’s mission is to discover, develop and launch new, thought-provoking plays, and serve as an artistic home to the next generation of playwrights.

TFA was founded in 1990 as the resident professional theater of George Mason University. To date, TFA has produced 40 plays (most of which have been world premieres) and 5 play festivals. The Helen Hayes Awards have nominated TFA’s work 37 times and have bestowed 12 awards on our work.

About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch by U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, dance, organizational psychology and health care, Mason students are routinely recognized with national and international scholarships. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage.

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