Skip navigation

You are here

Quinlivan ’19 “Plays” to Win National Festival

Paige Quinlivan
Author: 
Trina Vue ’20 Communications & Marketing
Publication date: 
March 8, 2019
  • Paige Quinlivan '19, Saint Paul, had her one act play, John Hughes Wrote My Diary, chosen for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) one-act play reading contest.
  • It won the KCACTF National Festival John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play.
  • Interested in someday attending graduate school and eventually teaching playwriting or opening her own theatre company, Quinlivan trusts this experience will prepare her for what lies ahead.

Paige Quinlivan '19, Saint Paul, had her one act play, John Hughes Wrote My Diary, chosen for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) one-act play reading contest. The script earned her the KCACTF National Festival John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play.

Having been involved in performing arts since she was just three, Quinlivan says theatre has become second nature. So when the opportunity to submit her work as a playwright in a professional scene came up, she took the chance.

"I thought it would be a really good opportunity to get my work out there and see what happens," Quinlivan says. "I never expected what would happen."

The KCACTF chose three finalists to be given readings at the Regional Festival. Of those three, Quinlivan was one of only two who received a recognition award and move on to be finalists in the national competition.

The Journey There

Quinlivan says she could not have written this without the support of Meiningens, a student-lead theatre group on the UMN Morris campus. Her play started out as a submission for the club's Play In a Day event, where students work together to write, direct, rehearse, and perform short plays in less than 24 hours.

"All my experiences writing with them have really encouraged me to put my work out there and have built confidence in my writing."

She also credits the theatre arts faculty in being hugely supportive of her, particularly Professor Ray Schultz, who directed a staged reading of her play.

"While, like all theatre, it was a collaborative effort, like all theatre, it all starts with the material," Schultz states. "I am proud that we try to give students a holistic approach to theatre."

The Road Ahead

Interested in someday attending graduate school and eventually teaching playwriting or opening her own theatre company, Quinlivan trusts this experience will prepare her for what lies ahead.

"It's instilled a lot of confidence in me that I can make a career in playwriting," she says. "It's just been really amazing."

About KCACTF

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is made up of eight regions and strives to promote the work of theatre students across the country.

To learn more, visit kcactf.org.

Quinlivan brought her original play to the KCACTF regional festival with support from the UMM Catalyst Fund. UMM Catalyst enhances the successful undergraduate co-curricular experiences of UMN Morris students by supporting life-changing travel, creative projects, and other adventures.