The Ohio State University at Newark

Student to Debut Play at Ohio State Newark

NEWARK, Ohio, May 31, 2017 – The Ohio State University at Newark student Max Berry always hoped that a play he wrote would be performed on stage, but he didn’t know it would happen this early in his career. Berry is only 18 years old and is getting ready for the debut of his play Thorns at the Black Box Theater on campus.

“I am a student at Ohio State Newark through the College Credit Plus (CCP) program,” said Berry. CCP is a program allowing students in grades seven through 12 who are deemed college ready to earn college credit. Berry is graduating this spring from Northridge High School. “I asked Ohio State Newark’s Black Box Theater Director Edie Norlin if she would read a one-act play I had written. I was hoping she would consider allowing me to put a production of the show together for a run on campus.”

“I read it and was amazed,” said Norlin. “It’s an excellent one-act play about two high school kids trying to find themselves. I told him I thought we could produce his play after my spring show closed.”

Rehearsals for Thorns started in early May. The play will run from June 8 – 10 at 8 p.m. and June 11 at 2 p.m.

“It takes place outside a high school on a bench,” said Berry. “It’s about obsession and wanting your life to fit into a certain story, but life doesn’t really work that way. The play examines how when people obsess over relationships and figuring out how to get what they want, they can ruin the relationships that they already have.”

Berry also stars in the production, playing the main character named Josh. Josh is a very dramatic person and starts idolizing a girl. He sees a relationship with her as the perfect story for his life. Berry hopes those who see the play are moved by its message.

“There isn’t one story to life. There are hundreds of thousands of different stories in each lifetime. It’s a little frame that shifts. That’s why a movie can have a prequel, because there is something that happened before,” said Berry. “You never know what story in your life is going to be a main plot point and which parts of your life are just backstory. You never know that.”

The original title for the play was Rain of Roses. Berry changed it to Thorns when he decided to take the script in a different direction. “If it were to rain roses, it would be beautiful, but the thorns would fall and hurt you. So, it’s beautiful but only at a distance. The girl in the play is beautiful but only at a distance because she is dangerous for Josh.”

Berry will attend Marymount Manhattan College this fall to study musical theater and writing for the stage. He hopes this is only the beginning of his career.

“It’s all very exciting. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to put on my show at Ohio State Newark.”

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.