As the inaugural writer in residence at MSUâ€™s College of Law East Lansing playwright Sandra Seaton may hold a position that is truly unique among law schools nationwide. Itâ€™s likely that no other law school has been adventurous enough to put a creative writer on staff to inspire students.
This week, beginning tomorrow, Seaton is premiering her new play â€œMusic Historyâ€ which focuses on African American students during the civil rights movement of the early 60s at Champagne-Urbana campus of the University of Illinois.
Seaton writes complex, but easily approachable plays, most with a challenging moral decision hanging over them.
Performance of â€œMusic Historyâ€ will be held at 7:30 p.m., Thursday November 11; 8 p.m. Saturday, November 13 and 2 p.m. Sunday, November 14. Tickets are available at the Wharton Center Office for $12 general admission, $10 for seniors and $8 for students.
The play is supported by a $15,000 grant from the Michigan Humanities Council which is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Seaton has broken ground with her creative playwriting including collaboration (â€œA Chance Meetingâ€) with Pulitzer Prize winning composer William Bolcom. In addition to traditional plays she has written a libretto which explores the relationship between Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson which was performed at the Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.
What I like about the choice of Seaton is a playwright is seldom chosen for a position such as this and she is from MSUâ€™s own backyard. MSU didnâ€™t have to go on a national search for such an incredible talent. Now, Iâ€™m just waiting for one of her plays to be performed at Wharton Center.
Seaton is a former English Professor at Central Michigan University and has had other residencies at Hedgebrook, Ragdale and Yaddo.
In addition to the performances of the play, the MSU Press has organized a day-long symposium on the legal, historical, and cultural questions of the dramatic representation of societal issues. Experts on numerous disciplines are participating in the symposium.
Read more about her new play in the Lansing City Pulse and the Lansing State Journal.