Oglethorpe senior Barbara Kincaid was among just six undergraduate playwrights to be selected for the Barter’s College Playwrights Festival, held in Virginia Feb. 17-19, 2023.
Barter’s College Playwrights Festival is designed to give undergraduate college students a professional experience in playwriting and is open to students in eight states: West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia.
Plays submitted must be no longer than 10 minutes and contain no more than four characters. Just six plays are selected from the submissions. The winning student playwrights have the opportunity to develop their play with professional artists, attend workshops and meet professional playwrights.
Each play is assigned a director and given two hours of rehearsal with members of Barter’s resident acting company — and later read for the public at the Barter Theatre, the nation’s longest running professional theatre.
Kincaid’s play, “What I’d Do Without You,” tells the story of a young girl confronting her inner demons by reshaping the way she sees them.
“I, like many people, deal with mental illness,” said Kincaid. “I wanted to write something that would both connect to audiences that deal with daily mental struggles and force them to look at those struggles in a different light.”
A theatre major and creative writing minor, Kincaid originally wrote the script as a final project for a playwriting course taught by Prof. Jessica Handler. At the end of the semester, Oglethorpe theatre professor Matt Huff asked the class to lend their works for his theatre directing course students to use as part of their own final project.
“It was a small staging of the play, but it was wonderful to see my work acted out,” said Kincaid. Later, Huff was the one who encouraged Kincaid to apply to the Barter’s festival, confident her play had a chance to be selected.
“I didn’t have any hope in winning… But when I got that congratulatory email, I was over the moon,” said Kincaid, who traveled to Virginia to participate in the festival. “It was super exciting to witness my production being put on by a professional director and to see my characters brought to life by professional actors.”
Kincaid is a member of Alpha Psi Omega theatre fraternity and participates in campus theatre productions and Poetry Club. In fall 2022, she interned at Broadleaf Writer’s Association.
“Writing is my passion,” Kincaid said. “No matter what form I write in, it’s something that I feel gives me a new perspective on life… Whilst I was writing this piece, I felt like it was connecting two parts of myself: my future passions and my past interests.”