Knox College to Read Dr. G. William Zorn’s Plays

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Emily Chudzik, News Editor

Millikin adjunct professor Dr. G. William Zorn will have two of his original plays read at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.

“The Speed of Falling Objects,” written by Zorn in 2009, was performed on Thursday, Oct. 23. It’s about a group of four friends who return to their hometown in Mississippi for their twenty year high school reunion, and it won the American College Theater One Act award.

On Thursday, Nov. 13, Zorn’s play, “Sand Man,” written in 2012, will be performed at the Caffe Cino Festival in the Studio Theater of Knox College at 7 p.m. The play is based off of a real event that happened in 2007 in Oxnard, Calif. where a thirteen-year-old boy, Lawrence King, gave a valentine to another boy who then shot and killed King.

“Sand Man” was moved to this festival because it celebrates gay playwrights, and due to the subject matter of the play, the college wanted it performed during that time period. Caffe Cino was originally in New York, starting in 1958. It’s labeled as “Off-Off-Broadway,” and it was the first place where LGBTQ American playwrights had their plays produced.

This is Dr. Zorn’s first semester here at Millikin. He currently teaches an IN 150 Intro to Composition class, but is interested in the possibility of forming a playwriting course. He has earned his doctorate in English, a master’s in playwriting, and has had 75 short plays produced all over the country.

“I have been a professional actor most of my life. I got tired of playing the same character over and over, so I started writing my own stuff,” Zorn said. “The irony is I generally don’t get cast in the things I write about, even though I tend to write about my own life. The directors always picture different actors.”

Dr. Zorn has won a number of awards for his plays. In 2009, he won the Mark Twain prize for Comedy Playwriting from the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. at the same time Tina Fey won for American Comedy.

“There was a ceremony in D.C. Everything was paid for for a week,” Zorn said. “I took a bunch of seminars and watched lots of finalists for the ten minute play competition. I also met new friends there.”

Zorn is also technically international considering he has had one Canadian production. “I tend to write about the Midwest, so it doesn’t translate very well to the London or Berlin audience,” Zorn said.

The most recent play Zorn has written is titled “Metropolis Has No Superman.”

“In Metropolis, [Illinois,] there is a thirteen foot statue of Superman, and [the play is about a] kid who idolizes him. His father owns the town grocery store, and wants his son to idolize him, so he has to have a twice as big statue in front of his store,” Zorn said.

For more information about Dr. Zorn’s accomplishments, visit his website, www.gwzorn.webs.com.