Earth-Shattering Scenario Wins Regional Playwriting Award

The curtain opens with two young people on stage conversing about their future.

As the world is coming to an end.

This dramatic turn of events is the essence of student playwright Xenia Kamalova’s 10-minute play Full of Life, which is the regional finalist for the Planet Earth Arts Playwriting Prize. The winning entries will be announced in April and presented at the 2017 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, DC.

As Kamalova’s drama unwinds, the man and woman are on a spaceship discussing everything from their families to travel experiences to the meaning of life. Meanwhile, a computer tracks the downward trend of Earth’s human population.

“They ignore the fact that people are dying at a high rate,” said Kamalova. “They just keep talking about their future and what they plan to do.”

Recognizing a talent

Theatre Professor Wesley Savick encouraged Kamalova, a theater major, to try playwriting, so she enrolled this past fall in a course taught by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre Artistic Director Kate Snodgrass.

“The first big assignment we had was to write a 10-minute play,” said Kamalova, Class of 2018. “I had written short scenes before, but never a play like this.”

Meeting of the minds

Before the paper was due, Kamalova had a brainstorming session with her best friend, Will Edick, Class of 2017.

“That’s how it all started,” she said. “I based the two people in the play after the conversations that Will and I would have all the time.”

Kamalova, 20, was born in Russia and moved to the United States four years ago. She made a smooth transition to Boston and Suffolk, and now she finds many of her closest friends among her Theatre Department peers.

She describes the department as “a nice friendly environment” and her professors as “professional and challenging without pressuring you.”

This semester, Kamalova is taking an independent study with Savick.

“All good playwrights develop the ability to tell a story, but only the most gifted are able to use a good story to express a unique point of view – a personal way of seeing the world,” said Savick. “Xenia has this gift. It is a delight to see her talent and confidence flourish.”

The curtain closes with the computer showing 0.4 percent of people left on earth and the man turning to the woman and asking a fateful question.

“Will you marry me?”