Casey Hudak’s “Black Bishop” Debuts May 29

Marina Allen

“I am the director. You are here to be directed!” shouts Casey Hudak to his actors, sophomores Patrick Hart and Robert Robinson. They ignore Hudak’s attempt to focus and implore that I mention in this article their ambitions to secure Tony, Emmy, and Grammy awards by the time they’re 30. Hudak tries again, this time physically moving his actors to their places. Hudak himself is very excited as his play, “Black Bishop” will be opening tomorrow night.

Hudak wrote “Black Bishop” when he was 15 and it is his first fully finished play. The play’s themes revolve around power, redemption, and cooperation, and take place over a game of chess. He explains the plot with intensity, articulating his words with focus. “The real bitch of the production is that I had to learn chess and realized pretty far into it that I should probably incorporate the game.”

While Hudak speaks, his eyes rarely make contact with mine, focusing instead on small dust particles in the air. He secures his Harry Potter eyeglasses and elongates his vowels as he talks about the writing process. “It came to me. I started writing poetry and did some beat poetry but in beat poetry I felt like the odd one out so I expanded to playwright.” Hudak not only stands out at Miramonte, but stands out altogether. But unlike most self-proclaimed non-conformists, Hudak expresses his appreciation of Miramonte. “People are intellectual enough and get enthused. The only real problem is that students are so scheduled they just don’t have enough time.” Hudak doesn’t express the typical artistic limitations compared to many who complain about Miramonte’s lack of alternative lifestyle. “ I never conformed to any standard someone would set for me. Maybe because I’ve never felt particularly tortured. Your sense of self is what you have, not the people or the things. Hopefully who you are is consistent.”

Hudak signals for Hart and Robinson. They each take a breath and begin dialogue, a relationship between patient and psychologist. The act finishes and erupts in criticism from all: actors, director, and tech. The plot is relationship based, discussing ideas and concepts, playing on the theme of “The Game of Life”- a pretty enlightened idea considering Hudak’s age at the time of the play’s conception. His inspiration for putting on a play: “Plays die if they aren’t put on.” Hudak smiles. He is using WISE as an outlet to perform the play while also interning at Fool’s Fury, a professional theater company. The company is using “Black Bishop” as a stage reading and Hudak will take the money received (half of what the company makes) for his WISE production.

His distracted eyes follow the lint in the room. “I had to do my own thing to get noticed and I really ended up receiving valuable things from that action. I really love writing and that’s what I want to do.” His eyes float on. “I want to be the best writer I can be. That’s all I can do.”