Skyline Theatre is excited to announce the first-ever Blue Sky New Works Festival – an evening featuring the world premiere of five brand-new short plays. Four of the plays are written by Skyline students and one by a staff member. Skyline Theatre presents “Blue Sky New Works Festival,” directed by Brodie H. Brockie, on Feb. 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Skyline Auditorium, 2552 N. Maple Rd, Ann Arbor. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students.
“Vibe Check,” written by Matthew McMorrough, in which a restaurant critic is on the job, but finds himself more interested in critiquing the other patrons than the food, is a tasty tale on the menu for the upcoming Blue Sky New Works Festival at Skyline High School.
McMorrough, 17, is a junior at Skyline HS and has been writing, in one way or another, since he was only 4 years old.
“As a child, I would near-obsessively write lists of various things (such as my favorite superheroes and cartoons, for example) and write stories that are now a little less decipherable,” he says. “I have gained a new appreciation for writing in high school, as I’ve worked on many assignments that have reminded me of the joy in the creative process it is, and have found writing recreationally to be a great source of relief in a time rife with stress (high school, that is).”
In coming up with his idea for “Vibe Check,” McMorrough says he was quite fascinated with the concept of a sort of slice-of-life storytelling method.
“Vibe Check displays the stories and lives of a few random tables in a restaurant, told through the lens of a jaded critic,” he says. “I figured that there were some observations about the American and human experience, which we all experience differently, to be communicated here, even if in a small sample size. It’s not about a deep overarching meaning, but rather moments you can recognize and laugh at and maybe relate to.”
McMorrough has kept his distance from the play-making process but is “super excited” to see it put on stage.
“It’ll be a little surreal, but I don’t think I’ll be able not to smile the whole time watching my talented, hard-working classmates bring my story to life,” he says.
McMorrough has kept himself busy during his first three years at Skyline. He is a member of the Book Bridge (literacy-promoting student-run charity), National Honor Society, Yearbook (copy editor), DECA, and Nature Club.
He appeared in the 2019 Skyline HS production of Shakespeare In Love (Ralph/Nurse) and before that was in the Emerson School Players’ 2015 production of Seussical (Who/villager). He also spent four years at the University of Michigan summer camp: 2011-Peter Pan (Pirate); 2012-Hercules (Pain); 2013-The Lion King (Pumbaa); and 2014-You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Schroeder).
He hasn’t quite figured out his plans for after high school but is definitely starting the search process. “More likely than not, I will look to major in English, journalism, or something closely related,” he says.
And as for writing …
“I plan to continue writing recreationally and, of course, for school,” he says. “I hope to pursue a writing career down the line.”