W faculty turn short story into play for Theatre Department

Kathleen Gartman


The W Theatre Department will present a readers’ theatre version of Michael Farris Smith’s short story, “Chasing Rabbits,” on Sept. 22.

Smith is a published author and associate professor of English at The W. He has two published books and two more set to be published in 2017 and 2018. 

William “Peppy” Biddy, professor and director of graduate studies for the Theatre Department, first discussed turning one of Smith’s short stories into a play two years ago. The idea became a reality last spring.

 “We just casually chatted about the idea of turning one of his short stories into a short play, just as an exercise for us,” said Biddy. “Some different way of working, something we can do with our students. It’s a different process in creating a show.”

The story takes place in Mississippi, as do most of Smith’s works. When the first reading is held on Sept. 22, it will give Smith the chance to hear his story out loud and see what changes need to be made so that it can work as a short play.

Auditions for the piece were held on Sept. 6. Many of the people who auditioned are new to both the school and the directors. However, Biddy was very optimistic about the future of the Theatre Department this semester.

 “There were a lot of new people which is always exciting because we had a fairly large amount of people graduate,” said Biddy.

“Chasing Rabbits” will premiere Sept. 22 in Cromwell at 7:30 p.m.