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May 13, 2011
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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Theater of the First Amendment,

George Mason University’s professional theater company-in-residence,

announces the 2011 First Light Discovery Program

June 5, 10 and 11, 2011

TheaterSpace, de Laski Performing Arts Building, Mason’s Fairfax Campus


Fairfax, Va., May 13, 2010Theater of the First Amendment, George Mason University’s professional theater company-in-residence, is pleased to announce its 2011 First Light Discovery Program, featuring staged readings from student, community and professional playwrights. This event is free and open to the public, and will be held at TheaterSpace in the de Laski Performing Arts Building on Mason’s Fairfax Campus on June 5, 10 and 11.

This unique program provides playwrights with the opportunity to continue to develop new plays while working with professional directors, dramaturgs and actors. The weeklong workshop culminates in a group of public staged readings with the chance for audience feedback. The First Light Discovery Program features work by professional playwrights, as well as the winning plays from the Student Playwright Competition and Mentorship Program for George Mason University students, and new plays from community members participating in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s (OLLI) theater programs.

The program begins on Sunday, June 5 at 1 p.m. with “GENERATIONS,” four plays by OLLI playwrights: “The Turing Machine” by Conrad Geller, “Somewhere in Italy” by Bob Greenspan,” “No Pets Allowed” by Manny Pablo and “The Asteroid Apophis” by Thelma Weiner. April Elizabeth Brassard’s “The Opposite of Cowardice,” a stunning tribute to a fading generation of World War II soldiers who dedicated their lives to fighting for our country, will be presented at 3 p.m. Michael Smith’s “Passaggio,” the tale of a Italian town experiencing troubled times that finds hope in an American movie star, will be presented at 5 p.m.

On Friday, June 10, Kaiulani Lee’s “Can’t Scare Me, the story of Mother Jones,” will be presented at 8 p.m. Lee, an Obie Award-winning actress, brings to life this witty and outspoken labor and community organizer who was once called “the most dangerous woman in America” for promoting social justice and human rights.  

On Saturday, June 11, Laura Jacqmin’s “Ski Dubai,” will be presented at 10 a.m. Jacqmin’s play focuses on a young environmental “friendliness consultant” who moves from New York to Dubai and struggles to uphold her “green” principles in a hotbed of capitalism, and experiences feelings of loneliness in an unfamiliar city. Kimber Lee’s “different words for the same thing” will be presented at 3 p.m. Lee tells the tale of a complicated web of relationships in a small town in Idaho and the return of a prodigal child who may or may not provide the release the townspeople are seeking.

A complete list of events, with lengthier descriptions of the plays, is available at The First Light Discovery Program events on June 10 and 11 are part of the Playwrights In Mind: A National Conversation conference sponsored by the Dramatists Guild of America. For more information on the conference, 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 in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.