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Students write and act in own performances

Boy meets girl. It’s an old story. A story heard from daily life and many of Hollywood’s romantic comedies. How about, boy meets a girl specifically made to be his soul mate?

A group of Ohio State theater students are working on the world premiere of a play titled “Soul Mate Factory.”

Angela Henderson, 22, is a theater major who is the playwright of the new work. She wrote the play in fall 2009.

“One night, I stayed up all night and finished the script because I wanted it out of my brain,” Henderson said. “I got off work at 2 a.m. and I was up till 11 a.m. because it was there. The whole pathway: brain, fingers, paper. I just needed it out.”

“Soul Mate Factory” is set in the future. The U.S. has been influenced by factors such as the growing use of birth control and China’s one-child policy.

Eventually, the U.S. government has a response. Through a process unknown by the public, women are found and paired to have a relationship with a specific man with high intelligence.

“It focuses on how technology affects our inner personal relationships,” Henderson said. “If they were made for someone and if they were made to love someone, then what’s the difference? Because people spend their whole lives looking for someone they’re made for.”

Henderson’s play is also her distinction project for her theater major. There was another new work and distinction project staged over the weekend.

Elissa Goonan, 21, is a theater major acting in both of the projects, including Henderson’s play. She explained how she felt about being the first to perform a role for the playwrights.

“I like it, but it is a lot of pressure because I know the people who wrote the works,” Goonan said. “They put a lot of hard work into writing these shows, and I don’t want them to be disappointed. Yet, it’s interesting, because you get to put your own spin on it.”

Also, because the plays are distinction projects, the theater majors are guided by advisers.
Kiley Morgan, a senior theater major, has also written her own play for her distinction project.

“I am getting a lot of feedback from my committee who are theater faculty members,” Morgan said. “It’s a good idea in terms of workshopping a script.”

Henderson’s play, “Soul Mate Factory,” will have its first performance next Friday in the Drake Performance and Event Center.

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