Playwright Kempson visits UVa-Wise Theatre Department April 2-5

WISE — The UVa-Wise Theatre and Language and Literature departments along with Wise Writes will host Sibyl Kempson, author of “Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag,” on campus April 2-5, where she will give presentations and watch the Theatre Department’s presentation of her play.

Kempson’s recognitions include the Frederick Loewe Award for Music Theatre in 2016 and PEN America/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Awards for American Playwright in Mid-Career in 2018. Her plays include “Restless Eye,” “The Secret Death of Puppets” and “Potatoes of August.”

In an article about her playwriting, Kempson stated she likes to take traditional issues and form her plays in such a way that her characters have irrational responses to ordinary events. “Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag” is no exception to this rule. When journalists come onto the farm of some sharecroppers, many interesting events follow.

Kempson will be conducting and participating in other events while she is on campus. On Tuesday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m., she will be reading and discussing some of her plays in the Sandridge Science Center.

On Wednesday, April 3 at 4:45 p.m., she will be conducting a creative writing workshop in Zehmer Hall 118.

On Thursday, April 4, Kempson will conduct four events:

— Writing and research workshopwith Veronica Rodriguez’s Introduction to Hispanic Civilization class and Christa Moore’s Marriage and Family course. These classes begin at 9:30 a.m. in the library.

— Starting at 11 a.m., there will be a hiking and talking expeditionwith Spirit Haven, an SGA sponsored club at UVa-Wise. For more information about this event, contact Angela Harvey at akw2r@uvawise. edu or Lillian Bright at lfb5n@uvawise. edu.

— Lunch on campus with Joe Necessary’splaywriting class either in the Smith Dining Commons or the courtyard of the Gilliam Center for the arts.

— At 8 p.m., Kempsonwill be attending the production of “Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag” and leading a talkback after the show in the Gilliam Center for the Arts.

Friday, April 5 at 11 a.m. is the last chance to interact with Kempson on campus, when she will be the guest at an Entrepreneurial Brunch at The Nest, which is located on Park Avenue.

Performance dates for the play are March 28, 29, 30 and April 4, 5, 6, all at 8 p.m. Cultural activity credit will be given for performance attendance.

For more information about Kempson’s visit to campus, contact Michael Hunt at

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