Student to compete in festival


Third-year student Jonas Pallaro-Sonneborn says his screenplay makes him feel “very proud” and he can’t wait to show it at the 2018 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C., this July. Photo by Brandon Hamilton

Elizabeth Spearman, Reporter

AACC’s theater professors chose a student’s screenplay about suicide to present in a national competition this summer.

The Theatre at AACC selected third-year creative-writing student Jonas Pallaro-Sonneborn’s original screenplay, “Dragon Hunting Support Group,” to submit the Capital Fringe Festival for their 2018 event  in Washington, D.C, this July.

“Dragon Hunting Support Group” is about a four-member suicide support group, according to Pallaro-Sonneborn. Throughout the play, each member tells his or her story in a series of flashbacks.

“It started with the title,” Pallaro-Sonneborn said. “The posters [for the competition] were asking about something obscure and edgy. [Suicide] is an interesting and tough topic, and I wanted to do something that portrayed it pretty faithfully.”

Pallaro-Sonneborn said he got the idea to have his actors play multiple roles from AACC’s latest play “Neverwhere,” where most of the actors played several parts.

From early September until Oct. 20, students submitted original screenplays to The Theatre at AACC for consideration as the college’s entry into the summer 2018 Capital Fringe Festival.

“We were looking for something that can be produced [with AACC’s resources], something that had a cast of four to seven people, [was] edgy and obscure and [was] under 75 minutes,” Sean Urbantke, a theater professor and co-adviser for The Theatre at AACC, said.

Urbantke and two other professors, Dr. Garrett Brown and Dr. AnnMarie Saunders, reviewed all six scripts that students submitted.

Brown said he will work with Pallaro-Sonneborn in the upcoming weeks to help him make his screenplay the “best version it can be.”

This spring, students enrolled in Applied Theater may volunteer for the play as actors or through a variety of behind-the-scenes roles during filming.

Urbantke said he is “proud” to have a student present his original screenplay on a national level.
“It’s going to be a lot of work but I have faith in [everyone involved].”

Pallaro-Sonneborn said he “cannot wait to see [his work] come to life.”

Fringe is a type of theater that is “experimental, edgy and obscure,” according to Urbantke.
Pallaro-Sonneborn said he is excited for the opportunity this summer.

Pallaro-Sonneborn said he is excited for the opportunity this summer.


This article has been updated to correct an error.