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This item originally appeared in the Feb. 12, 2004, issue of The Tech Talk.

By NICK TODARO

Staff Writer

Catherine Brehaut, a graduate student of theatre, is headed to regional competition in Fayetteville, Ark., on Feb. 24 with a 10-minute play she wrote called "Boobies."

"Boobies" is about breast cancer, and Brehaut said though she would like to say it was motivated by someone close to her, it was not.

"This is my first attempt at playwriting, so I just went with something that interested me," Brehaut said.

Brehaut said the play, which she originally wrote for a fall playwriting workshop, attracted the attention of her department head, Dr. Kenneth Robbins, director and a professor of the School of Performing Arts.

"It's a really emotional piece that I was surprised to see men respond to almost as deeply as women," Brehaut said. "The story of the 10 minutes you see is a woman preparing to go out on a date with her ex-husband.

"This woman has had a double mastectomy. Both of her breasts have been removed. She talks about her divorce, which was indirectly caused by the procedure's effects. The only man she can bring herself to become involved with at this point is her ex."

Jessica Phillips, a junior speech major, played the woman for a performance in the fall.

"It was so powerful and moving," Phillips said. "I felt a lot of similarities between us, so it put me inside her head and made me think what it would be like to be in that situation."

Brehaut's play will be entered in the Arkansas regionals with a group of plays picked by a panel of judges. If she makes it through, she will head to Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center for national competition next in the spring.

"Each play will have a cast provided at the competition, and a guest director will direct it based on the writer's work," Robbins said.

Robbins said Brehaut's play stands a good chance to go far.

"'Boobies' is amazing," Robbins said. "I expect Catherine to do very well with it at the competition we're headed to this month, and anyone interested to see it performed on campus will have the opportunity at our original works festival in May."

The Arkansas competition will choose the finalist from region six of seven national regions. The national competition will have one submission from each region.


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