BLOOMINGTON – The Ivy Tech Student Productions 2018-19 theatre season opened with Coffee Break, a new play written by Ivy Tech alumna, Brennen Edwards. Edwards also served as assistant director. She has been involved in Ivy Tech Student Productions since 2014 as lighting designer.
“For me, Ivy Tech served as a stepping stone between high school and a four-year university,” said Edwards. “Even if I had been admitted into IU straight out of high school, I think I would have been a subpar student. I needed the extra time at Ivy Tech in order figure out how to be passionate about learning. Ivy Tech helped me to mature.”
Edwards is now a student at Indiana University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in media and theatre. She started the Coffee Break script as a class project.
“During production the script has gone through seven drafts, and I’m so thankful to my cast and all involved for being so open to my growth,” said Edwards.
Paul Daily, Ivy Tech Waldron artistic director, helped Edwards continue to refine her play.
“When I started Coffee Break, I wanted to explore work relationships,” said Edwards. “As I continued to write, a second theme of waiting became clear. The majority of
characters in Coffee Break are waiting for their lives to begin. They are waiting for happiness, essentially. I think that when we look around ourselves, and inward, it’s not unusual to find plans we intend to accomplish, but are taking no steps toward. My favorite quote at the time of writing came from Chris Goffard in a lecture: ‘our comfort zones become our coffins.'”
Edwards credited Ivy Tech Student Productions with encouraging her creativity and growth as a student and artist.
“The Ivy Tech Waldron is a space that encourages curiosity. It is also a safe space to admit that you don’t know something,” said Edwards. “In 2014 when I started working with Ivy Tech Student Productions, the idea of showing up to a production and not knowing how to do something terrified me, but now I enjoy a trial by fire.”
“My work and growth in Ivy Tech Student Productions has helped shape me as a person,” she continued. “I am now a happy collaborator, and am delighted at the opportunity to fix breakdowns in communication, which often happen in the arts. Before I started working at the Waldron, I would not have known how to handle someone describing a play as ‘being the color blue.’ Now I just say, ‘What shade of blue?’ ”
Ivy Tech Student Productions take place at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, located at 122 S. Walnut St. Tickets are $15 for general admission or $5 for students and seniors. Information about Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center performances, classes, and exhibits can be found at ivytech.edu/waldron.
Information about Ivy Tech’s general studies program can be found at https://www.ivytech.edu/general-studies/.