FTDM professor debuts play in Fort Worth

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    Although Richard Allen teaches film-television-digital media at TCU, he has always loved the theater.

    He said his favorite place in New York City is a part of Broadway known as Shubert Alley, an area between 44th and 45th Street, lined with posters from Broadway shows.

    His dream was to have his own poster on Shubert Alley, he said.

    Allen might not have a poster in Shubert Alley, but he does have the opportunity to showcase his work in Fort Worth. His play, “Starbright and Vine,” premiered Thursday at Stage West.

    The play will run for approximately four weeks, with 16 performances in total.

    “I’ve had a couple of professional productions, but nothing on the scale of this,” Allen said.

    “Starbright and Vine” tells the story of an aging comedian and a young writer, whose stubborn personalities clash as they attempt to create a new comedy routine.

    The characters in no way reflect Allen’s personality, said actress Audrey Ahern, who plays the role of Donna in the show.

    “Every character is so sarcastic and snarky, and he’s just so genuine,” she said.

    Ahern said Allen’s writing style is “sharp” and “biting,” with a “warm and heartfelt core.”

    “Starbright and Vine” is not Allen’s first writing venture, however. He has written for numerous soap operas and nabbed two Emmy Awards for his work in “As the World Turns.”

    Yet with all the success that comes with writing, Allen said he would not want to return to writing professionally.

    “The most meaningful thing to me is teaching,” Allen said.

    Sydney Shircliff, a senior film-television-digital media and writing double major, said Allen is one of her favorite professors at TCU.

    “Especially in the film industry when everything can be so negative sometimes, he’s always positive,” Shircliff said.

    “Starbright and Vine” will play at Stage West Theatre until March 23. Tickets are available for purchase on the theater’s website.