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Work by Alumnus, Playwright Receives National Recognition

A play by Augustana alumnus Jon Josten, class of 2010, was named a semi-finalist for the prestigious Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference held earlier this summer in Waterford, Conn.

The conference is designed to support playwrights and new works for the theater by empowering playwrights to follow their own process and experience their plays with a professional company. Since its inception in 1965, the National Playwrights Conference has developed more than 600 plays, including works by virtually every major American playwright such as Julia Cho, Rebecca Gilman, Regina Taylor, John Guare, Israel Horovitz, David Henry Hwang, David Lindsay-Abaire, Adam Rapp, Lanford Wilson, Wendy Wasserstein and August Wilson.

Josten's play, "The Kids Are Pissin' on the Front Lawn,"  is about struggle and freedom, love and deceit, and what exactly drives us apart and forges us together. The story begins by introducing Abigail, a housewife; her strong-willed husband, Hammond; and their distant but quirky son, Geoffrey. On the night of a dinner party, Geoff's girlfriend, Maria, arrives shortly before Prudence and Reggie, friends of Abigail and Hammond. They talk and much is revealed about their sordid past and their complicated present. The play was performed on campus by the Augustana College Theatrical Society during the 2011-12 academic year.

"This play was a product of an insidious event in my hometown. I let the event fester in my soul for a number of years and finally wrote the story," said Josten. "It's exciting and humbling to have the work honored in this way."