The Southern Writer’s Project: An Insider’s View

A member of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Intern Acting company shares his take on the theater's new play festival.

Dauphin Island at ASF

Dauphin Island, a world premiere by Jeffry Chastang ran at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival earlier this month. Intern Acting Company member Tirosh Schneider gives us some perspective on the new play festival that spawned this rave-reviewed new play.

Dauphin IslandJeffry Chastang’s world-premiere new play Dauphin Island, which was first workshopped at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Southern Writers Project Festival of New Plays in 2015, reminded me of why I love watching new works of theatre.

I’ve been in Montgomery for seven months now, as part of ASF’s Acting Intern Company, and seeing a diverse group of talented artists come together to tell this meaningful story has been a highlight of my stay.

Dauphin Island Scene
Cheri Lynne VandenHeuvel as Kendra and Esau Pritchett as Selwyn in the recent world premiere of Dauphin Island at ASF.

Dauphin is the story of a woman from Chicago who felt lost, and found herself in the small town of Lower Peach Tree, Alabama. She meets a man traveling from Detroit, who hopes to find himself in Dauphin Island. In some ways, they find themselves in each other. Chastang is from Michigan with family from the South, and has had three other plays read at ASF as part of the Southern Writers Project. The actors and creative team are from all over the country, but have all worked extensively in the South. This result is a beautiful gathering of unique voices in conversation with the time and place in which we live.

This is all thanks to the magic of the Southern Writer’s Project. Now headed by Associate Director Nancy Rominger (also the director of Dauphin Island, and many of the plays produced through the festival), SWP began in 1991, and has been thriving since. I wasn’t here for the initial reading of Dauphin Island in 2015, but I couldn’t be more excited to see the variety of new plays that will emerge this May as part of the 2017 Southern Writers Festival of New Plays. I hope to see you there, too.

The festival is May 12-14 at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Watch the blog for more on this weekend where new professional theatre is born in MGM.

See complete details of the 2017 Festival at 

Contributed by Alabama Shakespeare Festival Intern Acting Company Member Tirosh Schneider. 
Tirosh SchneiderTIROSH SCHNEIDER is thrilled to be a part of the Intern Acting Company at ASF, where he has performed previously this season in A Christmas Carol and Charlotte’s Web. Past credits include Midsummer and Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ), King of Chelm (National Yiddish Theatre), Ellis Island (Tour), Miss/Guided (ABC), Dirt (FX), The Scopes Trial (BBC), and Hammerkatz NYU (Writer/performer). Tirosh is a proud graduate of The To Todoroff Acting Conservatory.



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