Lucy Jan-Turan directing her play, "Chi Phi Rom Com."Lucy Jan-Turan directing her play, "Chi Phi Rom Com."

“Chi Phi Rom Com (A Chinese Philosophy Romantic Comedy),” Lucille Jan-Turan says, “is a humorous, lightly philosophical, contemporary play with a spooky twist.” Along with assistant director Sophie Cameron ’17, and 20 performers, Jan-Turan presented her play at the Sun Shrine on COA’s north lawn at the end of spring term.

Performers rehearse for the "Chi Phi Rom Com."Performers rehearse for the "Chi Phi Rom Com."With the support of project advisors Nancy Andrews and Jodi Baker, Jan-Turan wrote and directed a play that encapsulated three distinctive stories. Jan-Turan describes one of the stories, “A hipster meets a couple of monks in the woods and the audience joins him on his path to enlightenment.”

Through playing voices within people’s heads, another aspect of her play looks at the idea of love versus actual love, she says. Jan-Turan, who likes dark comedies, says of the last story, “It is somewhat like the pied piper; a character named Slugman takes children into his wonderland.”

Jan-Turan first wrote “Chi Phi Rom Com” two years ago in John Visvader’s Chinese Philosophy class. She edited her play earlier this year in preparation for the performance. She says of her previous theater experience, “I wrote and directed a play at the Jesup Library three years ago and I also directed a murder mystery improvisation picnic at COA.”

Jan-Turan, who started acting when she was four years old, says, “COA didn’t inspire my theater career, but it enabled it. I didn’t want to pursue a degree in theater but COA allowed me to gravitate towards what I was most passionate about.”

Jan-Turan says, “I write plays in most of my classes, it is how I process information.” Nancy Andrews’ Art of the Puppet class was important for Jan-Turan’s theatrical journey; Jan-Turan is using a puppet in her play as a direct result of the class, she says.

Lucy's puppet featured by performers in her play.Lucy's puppet featured by performers in her play.The Barn Arts Collective gave Jan-Turan her first acting job. She says, “I was the ship captain of a flying ship. My name was pip and I played the accordion. It was a choose your own adventure children’s show with people and puppets. That’s how I learned to use puppets and saw what magic they have over a crowd. We performed at the Criterion Theater in Bar Harbor in the summer of 2015.”

Jan-Turan, who hopes to continue her theatrical career by writing plays and acting well into the future, will present plays in small theaters this summer in Brooklyn, New York.