Faced with the limitations of Kenyon’s stage, Sam Hafetz ’23 took to the radio to bring his plays to the minds and ears of WKCO listeners.
Hafetz’s appreciation for theater developed in seventh grade. It wasn’t necessarily the art form that called out to him, but rather one that allowed him to have a passion in a time when they were few. “As a kid, I had a lot of trouble finding passion. In a lot of ways playwriting was my insight into showing others’ passions,” he said.
What was initially viewed as a constriction, Hafetz’s use of broadcasting eventually allowed him to explore the facets of a realm that theater does not usually reside. He does not view the limitations of radio as discouraging, and confronts them head-on to achieve what he believes to be the most beneficial aspect of radio. Hafetz cites that the ability for one to listen to his plays while they are still in the comfort of their dorms—while they are still in their own lives—grants his audience the ability to “take on the world”, as he said, with the “third-person companion” that are his plays.
Last Tuesday, Hafetz unveiled his most recent play, “The Windhover,” a work that runs for 7 minutes and was written while on campus. With a cast of all first years, “The Windhover” delves straight into the action as Hafetz’s stage directions paint a picture of the back room of a baseball and sports memorabilia convention where a brother and sister interrogate a preacher to find a missing baseball card. There is also a talking dog.
Prior to the play, Hafetz discusses on air his inspirations for the play, referencing the longing he had for home and his desire to write a play that he wanted to live in. While the characters survey various torture methods and actors laugh in the background, Harfetz clearly achieves his absurdist intentions.
Mixing excrement jokes, moral dilemmas and stellar vocal performances, Hafetz crafted the community in his play as a community that he himself wishes to partake in. When taking in the chemistry of the actors as well as the sound of enjoyment and enthusiasm in their voices, it’s clear that Hafetz cultivates his own community.
This community, Hafetz hopes, won’t be relegated to those on the side of the microphone but will rather do what any good theater production achieves: a communal sharing of emotion. “The Windhover” is the first of his plays to be played for WKCO, part of a portfolio that will no doubt grow as the year continues. Hafetz performs every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on WKCO.