Albee celebration to feature one-act by senior playwright

Justin Kuritzkes’ ’08 play “Hawaii” was chosen to be staged at a birthday charity fundraiser for playwright Edward Albee on March 30.
 
Kuritzkes, who considers it a high honor, will engage with Albee in a one-on-one discussion about his play in front of the audience after the show.
 
The fundraiser will take place at a home in La Jolla.
 
“I’m really excited because I’ve read so much of his writing that I feel like I already know him,” Kuritzkes said. “So I think we’ll have a lot to talk about.”
  
 “Hawaii,” which was performed at the Playwright’s Festival last year, was one of four plays chosen from 300 for the Playwrights Project. 

It consists of a single scene play about two 17-year old teenagers, vacationing in Hawaii, whose parents are getting married.

Throughout the play, the boy and girl discuss and question the possibility of intimacy in such a situation.

“It starts with them kissing,” Kuritzkes said. “And it ends with them hugging.”

Kuritzkes says the play’s theme was something he had always wanted to write about and never did until one day in the summer before his junior year when he “came home and said, ‘It’s time to write this.’”

Only three days passed before the first draft was finished.

After that point, Kuritzkes says that he revised it over and over for months, right up through rehearsals for the play in February.

The play was performed at the Lyceum Theatre in downtown San Diego Feb. 2 through Feb. 10.
The audience included over 300 people, mostly donors for the Playwrights Project or people who have membership to the theatre.

Kuritzkes had already had his first play performed at the Blank Theatre when he was in 10th grade.
 
However, it was still very nerve-wracking to see his work performed live on stage.
 
“I was really nervous when the play was starting,” Kuritzkes said. “Once I had seen the audience’s reaction and seen the actors do such a great job, then I was more excited.”

Kuritzkes says he definitely plans to continue working with theatre in the future, whether it be in acting or in writing. However, he truly prefers writing.

“When I’m writing, I can say more of what I want to say than if I were acting,” Kuritzkes said. “I like the ability to tap into whatever I want to.”