A play written by Cheryl Hall, assistant professor of theatre at the UAB, has been selected for competition in the Strawberry One Act Theatre Festival in New York City.

“Blood Thinner,” starring two UAB alumni and directed by Assistant Professor Jack Cannon, will be performed July 26-27 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center. Semi-finalists will be voted on by the audience and proceed to the next round July 30. The play will be produced, which is exciting, because most competitions end with a reading, Hall said. 

“I can’t tell you too much about the show without giving it away,” Hall said. “It opens with Colin, played by Theatre UAB alumnus Luke Harlan, being waterboarded.”

UAB alumna Elizabeth “Biz” Ellis stars as Catherine.

Hall is a recipient of the prestigious Lois Gerren Award for her scenic design of “The African Company Presents Richard III.” Hall’s directing credits include “Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years,” “Home,” “Jar the Floor” and “Intimate Apparel.” Hall voices the character of Fadelia in the radio drama “Bodylove,” of which she recently became head writer.

Harlan is making his New York acting debut. A Kennedy Center award-winning director, he was assistant director for “33 Variations” at La Jolla Playhouse, “The Crowd You’re In With” and “The Book Club Play” at O’Neill Theatre Center.  He directed “Fighting a Fish” at the Kennedy Center, “365 Days/365 Plays” at O’Neill Theatre Center and “The Laramie Project” at UAB. He is executive assistant to Moisés Kaufman at the Tectonic Theater Project.

Ellis is an actress/comedian and comedy writer in New York City. She has worked as a freelance writer and performer for the National Lampoon Radio Show, News Groper, MSN and the Daria & Mitch Morning radio show in Portland. She is a performer and writer for MEAT, a critically acclaimed all-female sketch comedy group.

Cannon teaches hundreds of students every semester in Intro to Theatre, Acting and Teaching Theatre in the Secondary School. He has worked professionally as a stage manager, tour manager, actor and director. Cannon recently directed productions of “Our Town,” “Largo Desolato,” “The Food Chain” and “Romeo and Juliet.” His last New York directing credit was “Twelfth Night” for the National Shakespeare Conservatory, performed in the Catskills.