Roo News

The Student News Site of University of Missouri - Kansas City

Roo News

Roo News

Around 1 million people were estimated to be in attendance at the parade.
One Dead, Several Injured During Chiefs Parade
Zach Gunter and Jazlyn SummersFebruary 14, 2024

Update:   As of 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the number of those injured at the Union Station shooting after the Chiefs Super Bowl parade...

UMKCDC regularly updates their practice schedule and have multiple sessions a month.
UMKC Dance Club Prepares for First Performance
Luis Marin, Staff Writer • February 14, 2024

The UMKC Dance Club wants to create a space for judgment-free dancing, one move at a time.      The new organization, also known as UMKCDC,...

The Rainbow Lounge can be found on the second floor of the Student Union.
The Pride Alliance Pushes for an Increase in Members
Manuel Rivera and Brenna OxleyFebruary 13, 2024

  After struggling to gain and keep members last semester, UMKC’s Pride Alliance club outlined their new agenda with plans to increase membership...

Valentines Day can be stressful for students trying to save money, luckily there are options to stay frugal and be fun.
Love on A Budget
Scarlett Gottschalk, Staff Writer • February 7, 2024

  As a college student, spoiling your partner without jeopardizing next week’s groceries on Valentine’s Day can be hard.   Here are...

Members of TAASU at a general body meeting.
UMKC's African American Student Union Brings Community for Students
Amina Shaw, Staff Writer • February 6, 2024

  The African American Student Union (TAASU) works to foster a sense of belonging and empowerment for African American students by providing...

UMKC student’s play selected for Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

UMKC theatre student Hieu Bui smiling and laughing
The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival selected Hiêú Bùi’s play, “The Medicine Man,” for their annual festival. (UMKC Conservatory Twitter)

When UMKC undergraduate theatre student Hiêú Bùi attended the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in January 2020, he did not expect it to select his own play months later for the same festival. 

The KCACTF is a national program that selects students from universities across America to recognize their creative skills. More than 16 million theatergoers have attended the 10,000 festival productions nationwide. Although the festival is online this year, people will still get a chance to see plays like Bùi’s. 

Bùi’s winning play, “The Medicine Man,” started off as an assignment for his playwriting class. Theatre professor Frank Higgins required students to write a play about two people arguing or fighting over one object. Bùi decided to write about his own great grandfather, who was a 4th generation Vietnamese traditional medicine man. The main conflict of the play is about the struggles of roles and tradition. Higgins saw potential in the one-act play and encouraged Bùi to submit “The Medicine Man” for consideration to the KCACTF.

Bùi ended up writing ten drafts before sending the play to KCACTF. 

“I’m still not happy and I think I won’t be for a while,” said Bùi about his winning piece. “The saying for a playwright is ‘it’s done till you see it three times on stage.’”

On Dec. 8, 2020, Bùi received the news that his play was one of the three finalists selected among the thousands of applicants.

“I got to brag about it to my very Vietnamese family who questioned my drive and decision on pursuing theatre,” Bùi said. “It affirmed my love for storytelling.”

The news gave Bùi hope to know someone found value within the story of his great grandfather.  

Bùi has been focusing on extending the one-act play into a full play. After its completion, he plans on finding more festivals to submit to. 

Bùi credits Higgins and his playwriting class for introducing him to his passion for playwriting.

“The playwriting class has been removed from UMKC for the last two semesters, meaning the opportunity for Higgins to inspire other writers has been taken away,” Bùi said. 

The playwriting course is similar to screenwriting courses offered by UMKC, but Bùi stated that a separate playwriting course is still needed. 

“Hopefully before I graduate, I can take his class again,” he said.

[email protected]

A previous version of this article mislabeled Mr. Bùi’s work as a screenplay rather than a stageplay.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Roo News

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Missouri - Kansas City. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Roo News

Comments (0)

All Roo News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *