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Two New Plays Showing in Free Staged Readings by U of I Theatre Department

September 19, 2022

MOSCOW, Idaho — The University of Idaho Department of Theatre Arts presents free online staged readings of two new works by U of I Master of Fine Arts playwrights in September.

Both plays, part of the First Bite New Play Development Series, will be presented on Zoom and are directed by U of I MFA theatre distance students.

“Breaking the Bell Jar” by Sarah Hartwig, directed by Aileen Zeigler, depicts a college senior, Esther, trying to get an internship at a newspaper. But Hartwig’s professor won't write her a letter of recommendation until she finishes reading "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath and completes the accompanying project. This might not sound like a big deal, but when Plath comes to life, the ordeal turns into a mental game that Esther isn't ready for.  "Breaking the Bell Jar" contains adult language and situations.

Register in advance to view “Breaking the Ball Jar” readings at 6 p.m. Sept. 23 and 2 p.m. Sept. 24.

The comedy “Silver Belles” by Lauren Groves, directed by Chaz Wolcot, focuses on a group of ladies residing at Silver Meadows Retirement Home and preparing for what may be their last Christmas together as the property converts into a luxury hotel.

Register in advance to view “Silver Belles” at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 and 2 p.m. Sept. 25.

“It’s always a thrill to hear these new plays for the first time,” said Robert Caisley, chair of the U of I Department of Theatre. “Some of the most exciting work we produce is the original work created by our students. There’s a special pride that comes with ushering a new work into the world for the first time.”

Cast and crews will be available for question-and-answer sessions immediately after each show.

For more information about these plays and other U of I theatre productions, view the 2022-23 season production schedule online.

Media Contact

Kelly O’Neill
Communications Specialist, Department of Theatre Arts & Lionel Hampton School of Music

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The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at


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