Reid Shalvoy and Justin Davis
Reid Shalvoy (left) and Justin Davis play rival gang members who end up on the same college football team.

CULLOWHEE – Five Western Carolina University freshmen who wrote a play from scratch last fall will see their creation come to life as “On the Front Lines” hits the stage Friday through Sunday, April 2-4.

The play is being presented by Western's Black Theatre Ensemble, in conjunction with the departments of English and athletics. Show time is 7:30 p.m. in Western's Niggli Theatre.

The students – Robert Hooper, John Martin, William Mattison, Brendon Riley and Reid Shalvoy – wrote the play as part of course work in a first-year seminar in creative writing taught by Brian Railsback, head of Western's department of English.

The play tells the story of two rival gang members, sworn to hate one another, who surprisingly end up on the same college football team. The two athletes are faced with having to reconcile their places on the same team, and that “creates a powerful conflict that propels the play forward,” Railsback said.

Railsback said the five freshmen, none of whom had any previous experience in writing plays, created a “real nail-biter.” The first reading of the play in front of the other class members left them stunned, he said.

The play is being directed by Rudy Roberson, visiting assistant professor in Western's department of communication, theatre and dance. The cast and crew is composed of about 50 Western students, including numerous Western student-athletes.

Tickets are $5 per person. Because of adult language, parental guidance is advised.

For more information or tickets in advance, contact Western's department of communication, theatre and dance at (828) 227-7491.

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Last modified: Tuesday, March 30, 2004
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