Nancy Sultan

Professor of Greek and Roman Studies Nancy Sultan

Sultan Chosen in Regional Playwright Competition

April 29, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – A play written by Illinois Wesleyan University Professor of Greek and Roman Studies Nancy Sultan was one of three selected for “New Plays from the Heartland,” a regional, one-act play competition sponsored by Heartland Theatre Company in Normal.

“I guess you could say that my lifelong love of language and spectacle stimulated my scholarly interest in Greek drama and music,” said Sultan, who has been acting in plays since she was 8 years old. Her latest play, “No Goodbyes” will be performed May 15-16 at the Heartland Theatre (One Normal Plaza, Normal). The play follows the theme of the competition, “The Patience of Patients: One Act Plays in a Private Hospital Room.” Sultan’s piece “No Goodbyes,” deals with one friend asking permission from another to die.

Playwrights from across seven states were invited to submit one-act plays for the competition. Submissions from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin were judged by directors, critics, playwrights and theater educators. These judges sent their top eight entrees to Ken Weitzman, a nationally known playwright, who chose the final three plays for a staged reading. The three qualifying playwrights will also attend a workshop with Weitzman in May.

This is the second competition with Heartland Theatre where Sultan has won a slot. In 2007, her play “Pas de Deux” was selected for a performance in the theatre’s national 10-Minute Play competition.  “I've been writing plays for many years, but only began to send them out to competitions recently,” said Sultan, who noted the 2007 competition was the first one she entered.

Sultan, who teaches ancient literature and theater, said theater shows our true nature. “To quote a favorite playwright, Tom Stoppard, ‘Every exit is an entry somewhere else,’” said Sultan. “Theater for me is the freedom to be human, warts and all.” Next spring, Sultan will work with Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Tom Quinn to produce Aristophanes' comedy Lysistrata at McPherson Theater at Illinois Wesleyan.

For more information on the competition, check out the Heartland Theatre Web site .          

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960