Playwright Jordan Morille has his ‘dream job’
Texas State faculty member Jordan Morille (M.F.A. ’15) says he has his “dream job.”
Make that “jobs.”
Since fall 2018 Morille has been a lecturer in the Honors College where he teaches writing for the screen, writing for stage, dramatic adaptation, and honors creative arts. A working playwright, his one-act play “Tiger Barb” was featured in October at the New Masculinities Festival in New York City. He recently finished a full-length play, which he plans to shop around. Morille is working on his first novel, is a practicing script doctor, and had “The June Born,” his novella, published in an anthology.
In 2015, the same year Morille earned his graduate degree in Theatre, Dramatic Writing, he received national recognition at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in Washington, D.C.
Morille credits Jim Price, who heads up the MFA Dramatic Writing Program, as his mentor. Serving as the vice chair of KCACTF Region 6, which includes Texas, Morille said it is his way of giving back to the organization that gave me so much to him. He also collaborates with the Department of Theatre and Dance and Neil Patrick Stewart, assistant professor of practice, to have students read the Honors students’ plays.
The 2020 KCACTF Region 6 festival will be Feb. 24-28 in Abilene. Lila Perlman, a Fine Arts and Theatre junior, has made festival history by having all three of her first-time submissions — a one-act play and two 10-minute plays — accepted into the competition.
“This is why I teach play writing in the fall,” Morille says. Honors students are required to submit plays by the region’s Nov. 1 deadline. The plays from seven Texas State students, four in the Honors program, have been accepted into this year’s competition.
Morille said his love of writing began as a teenager. “I would write skits in high school. I wanted to make movies,” he said. He says his favorite playwrights include Sam Shepard, August Wilson and Paula Vogel. “These are people that I understand. Then you start discovering your own stories, your own experiences. (You) start dramatizing it. It is a way for me to be more in touch with my emotions and the people around me.”
A lot of his plays are set in the South, often Southern Gothic. He especially likes writing dialogue and tells his students to focus on what’s going to be on the stage. “Character and dialogue come first,” he said.
He loves what he does and is quick to say that the Honors courses “challenge me, as much as the students.”
In April, Morille will direct Perlman’s one act play “The South Room” at the Texas State Theatre Center. Set in 1920s Philadelphia, “The South Room” is about a burgeoning young feminist and her handicapped husband grappling with the social construct of marriage vs. the reality of their own relationship. “I wrote this play to investigate a situation where the fault and the blame are not simple to assign,” Perlman said.