For award-winning writer Jonathan Fitts, the play’s the thing. And so is the novel.
Fitts, who is based in Los Angeles, is a rising star among playwrights, having won the Kennedy Center’s David L. Shelton Award in playwriting for his play “The Pursuit of Mr. Rockefeller,” which was produced on campus.
And soon, he may also make his mark as a novelist. He has signed a contract with Ariel Books to complete what he called “two fiction projects.” One will come out later this year.
Fitts earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts in 2011. His Generalist concentration was designed to prepare him for a broad spectrum of theater careers. He completed his junior and senior years at Appalachian after transferring from Campbell University.
“I was hoping to focus on playwriting,” Fitts said. “That’s really how it worked out.”
Appalachian not only played a role in bettering Fitts’ playwriting skills; it also gave him a taste of how to make a project happen through collaboration.
Fitts’ “White or the Muskox Play,” now in The Best American Short Plays 2011-2012 anthology (Applause Books), won the Kennedy Center’s John Cauble National Short Play Award, and it became part of the university’s Mainstage season in 2012.
And during his senior year, students and faculty read his work as part of a yearlong master class. Fitts called that experience “invaluable” because he could hear what worked and didn’t and make revisions accordingly.
The Department of Theatre and Dance faculty “were so supportive of me, providing the resources I needed,” Fitts said.
Fitts won the Kennedy Center’s David L. Shelton Award in playwriting for “The Pursuit of Mr. Rockefeller,” which students and faculty read as part of a master class during his senior year.