TWU's Young receives accolades for 'The King's Face'
DENTON — When Steven Young, assistant professor of drama at Texas Woman’s University, first saw a production of William Shakespeare’s Henry V, he knew that he wanted to work in theater.
Now, one of his works is hailed as being on par with the Bard’s.
Mr. Young’s The King’s Face recently tied for first place and was voted audience favorite in FutureFest, an annual summer event sponsored by Ohio’s Dayton Playhouse. FutureFest features new, unproduced works from playwrights throughout the country. This year, 190 scripts were reviewed.
Adjudicator David Finkle, a regular contributing theater critic for the Village Voice, said, “In the future if anyone asks me who wrote Shakespeare’s plays, I’m going to say Steven Young.”
Winning both the critics’ and the audience’s votes was rewarding to Mr. Young.
“Critics lend a professional legitimacy that can be instrumental in furthering your career,” he said. “The thrill of a general audience is that they seek you out. That is gratifying.”
The play also has received rave reviews overseas, receiving five stars from the United Kingdom’s “FringeReview.”
The accolades “build great confidence in me to keep writing,” Mr. Young said.
The King’s Face is loosely based on a true story. At the battle of Shrewsbury, Prince Harry of Monmouth — the 15th-century heir to the English throne — is struck in the face by an arrow. Over the course of several days, he and his surgeon, John Bradmore, develop a father-son relationship that will shape the boy who will become Henry V.
Though the play is a dramatization, historical accuracy was important to Mr. Young. His research led him to “Philomena (The Nightingale),” the surgeon’s detailed account of his treatment of the young prince’s wound.
“I’m proud to have taken a footnote of history and made it accessible to the public while retaining historical accuracy,” Mr. Young said.
Mr. Young has appeared in more than 39 Shakespeare productions and, as a director, has more than 75 productions to his credit. The TWU Drama Department will premier his latest work, NightWitches, on the Denton campus in November and tour the production overseas during summer 2014.
page updated 4/16/2014 8:45 AM