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Saint Mary’s College professor writes play set in Ireland

HILLARY BENGTSSON | Friday, November 13, 2009

Saint Mary’s College professor and playwright Susan Brabant Baxter’s play, “Confessions of the Chaff,” directed by Professor Mark Abram-Copenhaver will open as the latest production of the Saint Mary’s College Little Theatre.

The play is set in Ireland in 1942 depicting the Mahan family’s struggles to rebuild relationships after a death.

Baxter first drafted “Confessions” in 1995 while living in Colorado in response to a sex-abuse scandal within her local diocese.

Baxter submitted the play to several playwriting groups. It ultimately came in second place in a national play competition.

“I was somewhat relieved that it didn’t win,” Baxter said. “I knew I needed more time to consider what, precisely, I wanted this play to do.”

“Confessions” supports the Catholic Church and its clergy and religious leaders, although Baxter said it is not a play for children.

She has written many one-act and full-length plays, in addition to collaborating on a musical. Her previous plays have been performed at the Saint Mary’s Fine Arts Camp and Summer Academy.

“I’d like to commend the SMC Theatre Department. It is like no other artistic community I have ever seen. Mark Abram-Copenhaver is an incredibly gifted director,” Baxter said. “As a result, the play has grown far beyond what it was initially. The students have been talented, creative and kind.”

The production of “Confessions of the Chaff” will run Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in Saint Mary’s Little Theatre. The admission is $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the box office.