Kiran Soma, a third-year student majoring in chemistry and communication media, has been selected for the 2022-23 NC State Creative Artist Award in theatre.
His original play, What We Grew Up With, follows an immigrant family and their experiences navigating racism, xenophobia and estrangement. This sentimental drama highlights issues that touch aspects of all lives and displays the importance of making real progress on inclusion and belonging.
When choosing plays to be honored with the Creative Artist Award, the University Theatre staff evaluates the following: Does the submitted work explore an exciting, inventive or nuanced idea? Is there a dynamic plot or character arc? Does the play have a clear structure? Would the play benefit from a development process?
University Theatre assistant director Mia Self notes that “Kiran’s play is a sophisticated piece with a multi-dimensional lead character, a strong journey from beginning to end, and a lovely invitation to the audience to an experience that might be different from their own but may well mirror life in their own experiences of growing up.”
What We Grew Up With will be developed in University Theatre’s “The WRIGHT Way” theatre workshop process during spring semester and produced in fall 2023.
In the May 2020 announcement of the Class of 2024 Park Scholars, Kiran Soma’s bio noted that he is an “avid screenplay and short-script writer,” foreshadowing his winning Creative Artist Award play.
The University Honors Program interviews Kiran Soma about his summer internship with Gilead’s medicinal chemistry team.
Two entries for the 2022-23 Creative Artist Award in theatre were awarded honorable mentions. These plays will receive readings, and the audience will be asked to share their experience with the playwrights.
Major: civil engineering
Synopsis: Lethean is a play set in the Greek mythological Underworld following the story of a soul who has lost all memory of their life and therefore cannot be sorted to their eternal place. This soul sets out in search of their memories, looking for those who might have known them when they were living, meeting the characters of the Underworld, in the hopes of finding out who they were and how they lived.
Play: Light of Jupiter
Major: biological sciences
Synopsis: Above the world we know is a one where the constellations of old are given life. Each of these personifications of sparkling stories wield a powerful object called an Alpha Star, and when Canis Major loses his star – Sirius, the brightest star in the sky – and drops it down to Earth, it falls to the underdog constellation of Equuleus to retrieve the object from the dangerous mortal realm. However, they are not the only one after Sirius. Join Equuelus and their new friends on their journey to not only retrieve the star, but to explore the meaning of friendship and family in this new dramedy.