Santa Fe University of Art and Design creative writing and performing arts alumna Carol Carpenter ('96) will debut her latest play, 'Sweet, Sweet Spirit' at New Mexico State University (NMSU) from tonight, Sept. 28 – Oct. 14, where it is opening the fall season.
The play, co-produced by the American Southwest Theater Company, won the High Desert Play Festival in April and was also nominated for Best Reading at Planet Connections Festivity in 2011 (NYC). It was also part of Acadiana Repertory Theater's New Play series in June, and is featured in Barrow Group's 2012-2013 development series in New York City this fall.
The story focuses on a conservative, evangelical family that must address some difficult topics after the father nearly beats his gay son to death. It raises issues around the complexities of faith, culture, family and community in a rapidly changing world.
"The cultural experiences of New Mexico have really enriched the work I do today," says Carpenter. "My time at the college was life-changing. The level of individual attention and the student-to-teacher ratio during my time there went far beyond what I experienced in graduate school. The depth of the relationships I formed at the college has been essential to both my career and to my sense of community. The college embraced experimentation and collaboration and innovation. It was an exciting time of my life."
A company playwright at MTWorks in New York City, Carpenter has developed several award-winning productions beyond 'Sweet, Sweet Spirit,' including 'Good Lonely People' about small-town Southern Democrats who hold a secret Obama party on the night of the 2008 election. The play won the 2010 Best New Play award at the Planet Connections Festival in New York City, as well as the Audience Favorite Award at the National NewBorn Play Festival.
Carpenter's other new play, 'The Guadalupe,' is currently in development with On the Square Productions in New York City. Before becoming a playwright, Carpenter published five young adult novels with Random House Children's Books under her penname Amanda Christie, and spent several years as an editor and writer at Paramount Pictures. She holds a master's degree in dramatic writing from the University of Southern California.
To purchase tickets for 'Sweet, Sweet Spirit,' visit the NMSU website or Ticketmaster. This October, Carpenter will also lead a playwriting workshop for SFUAD students that focuses on scene analysis for writers.
The Creative Writing and Literature Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design enables students to learn from and grow along with a core of published, award-winning authors. Dedicated students polish their literary skills and discover the right forms for their unique voice, while taking advantage of numerous opportunities to conduct public readings, work collaboratively, and inspire and be inspired by their peers. Annually, the Creative Writing and Literature Department publishes a student-edited and student-produced literary journal, Glyph, featuring some of the university's best writing in creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry and screenwriting.
The Performing Arts Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design introduces students to all facets of stage production, giving them the opportunity to perform, design and build sets, develop and produce costumes, devise and execute lighting schemes, and create and stage sound effects. Because of this strong foundation, SFUAD theatre graduates are known and respected around the country for their knowledge and professionalism. Each year, the department produces three plays and one musical in the Greer Garson Theatre, a proscenium-style venue dedicated to the late actress, who is remembered for her philanthropy and distinguished career on the stage and screen.
Santa Fe University of Art and Design is an accredited institution located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of the world's leading centers for art and design. The university offers degrees in arts management, contemporary music, creative writing, digital arts, graphic design, moving image arts (filmmaking and video production), performing arts, photography and studio art. Faculty members are practicing artists who teach students in small groups, following a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that combines hands-on experience with core theory and prepares graduates to become well-rounded, creative, problem-solving professionals. As a Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Art, Architecture and Design, the university boasts an international student body and opportunities to study abroad, encouraging students to develop a global perspective on the arts. Santa Fe University of Art and Design is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, http://www.ncahlc.org.