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Carnegie program features Carlynton grad's script

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

A Carlynton graduate's dramatic script came to life last week with a staged reading of the work at Carnegie's Third Street Gallery.

The short script, “Roost,” written by 2013 Carlynton valedictorian Lana Meyer, was performed by local actors as part of the Third on Third, Local Actors Reading Local Writers series.

“It's just so exciting,” Meyer said. “I can't believe this many people came out to see it.”

Meyer's script won first place in the dramatic script category at the National Scholastic Art and Writing Competition, an award that saw her honored at Carnegie Music Hall in New York last month.

While Meyer had seen her work read before — at the City Theatre on the South Side — she was anxious to see it again now that more time had passed.

“It's almost the one-year anniversary,” she said. “I'm sure the way I view it has evolved over time, since a year ago.”

More than 40 people turned out to see the performances — a standing room-only crowd.

When the City Theatre performed “Roost,” the performances were mainly for students on school trips. Meyer said it felt strange to be watching her script read with a room full of strangers.

“Now it feels like it matters more,” she said. “It feels like there's a lot more at stake.”

The piece centers on Josephine Grissom, a Great Depression-era chicken farmer just barely keeping her head above water. She is four months pregnant and on her own when her newly-wealthy ex-flame returns to town – with his young, ditzy bride. ‘Jo' is determined to do what she must to keep her farm afloat – whatever it takes.

“Scraping by – that's what I said, right? Then that what I'll do,” Jo says.

Meyer wanted to write about desperate people, she said, and rural Depression-era Texas is “about as desperate as it gets.”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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