Spotlight: Lupe Flores

For Texas State class act, Kennedy Center spotlight feels great

By Billi London-Gray

What started with a class assignment quickly became a national stage production for Lupe Flores.

The Texas State University grad student, who is pursuing a master’s in playwriting, recently saw his work performed on stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. His 10-minute play, The Coyote Stratagem, was a finalist in the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival.

Flores, a San Antonio native who studied theater at University of the Incarnate Word, wrote the play in the fall of 2010 for Professor Jim Price‘s playwriting class at Texas State. Submitting the play to a regional KCACTF competition was part of the assignment but had little influence on Flores’ writing.

“It was my first 10-minute for the class. It was entirely original and was written in about four hours over the course of one evening. ” Flores says. “To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with the festival at all at the time.”

Regardless, The Coyote Stratagem, which focuses on a man’s Wile E. Coyote-inspired strategy to win back his girlfriend after a breakup, advanced to the national competition after winning in regional contest. The play was one of five student-written 10-minute plays, out of 960 submitted to the festival, that were performed April 22 at the Kennedy Center.

“Once I understood the importance of the selection, I was pretty happy,” Flores says. “It took a few days for it to really sink in.“

Texas State’s Department of Theatre and Dance has a strong record of achievement in the KCACTF, having been recognized each of the past 10 years for outstanding student submissions in scene design, lighting design, costume design, sound design, directing, acting, stage management and playwriting.

In addition to being staged at the Kennedy Center, The Coyote Stratagem was selected by Red Barn Theatre in Key West, Fla., for its spring showcase, Short Attention Span Theatre 2011.

Flores is taking the success in stride, with a long view for his continued study of theatre after he completes his MA in 2012.

“I’m considering a couple of options after graduation, pursuing an MFA in playwriting or a PhD in the field,” he says. “Both have their benefits, but there are a lot of things to take into consideration. I’ll probably figure it out by the fall. I hope.”

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