Dennis Schebetta Wins Film Competition-Faculty & Staff News - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dennis Schebetta Wins Film Competition

His Romantic Comedy Will Be Filmed This Summer; To Premiere in the Fall

Dennis SchebettaDennis Schebetta, communications coordinator for Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama, has a new title: Winner of the 2013 Steeltown Film Factory Competition.

His script, “My Date With Adam,” received the Ellen Weiss Kander Award, which provides $20,000 to produce and film his short movie this summer. The movie, which he plans to shoot locally, will debut at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Film Festival in November.

“My Date With Adam” is a romantic comedy about a woman looking for the perfect man. She finds him, but her great guy turns out to be a robot that’s part of a graduate student’s work in artificial intelligence.  Schebetta calls the script a love story — one that highlights what people are looking for when they seek perfection. It’s also a story about people’s relationships with technology, such as close ties to a smartphone, iPad or, in this case, a robot.
 
“I was inspired by the CMU roboticists I see working [in the Gates-Hillman Center] when I look out my office window,” said Schebetta, who also serves as an adjunct faculty member in Carnegie Mellon’s creative writing program (screenwriting). “I thought about what they do, and I thought about people looking for the perfect mate, and it all came together.”

Schebetta is a playwright, director and actor whose work has been seen off-off-Broadway and regionally at theatres such as Ensemble Studio Theater, 13th Street Rep, fringeNYC, Gallery Players, Portland Theatre Works, Northwest Playwrights Alliance and Bricolage Theater. Last year his play, “W@STE,” was in The Road Theatre's Summer Play Festival in Los Angeles and had a staged reading by 12 Peers Theater in Pittsburgh.

His play, “Dog Park or Sexual Perversity in Magnuson,” was published in "Ten 10-Minute Plays Volume III" and has enjoyed several productions after its premiere in Seattle, including as far away as Iceland, Australia, and Morocco.

As an actor, he was recently seen in “August: Osage County” at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and in “Shining City” at Off The Wall.

He earned his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, studied acting with Bill Esper in New York, and was the Dramatist Guild Regional Representative for Seattle. Originally from Reno, Nev., he now lives in Pittsburgh and works in CMU’s School of Drama and English Department.

Carnegie Mellon also was represented in the competition by Laci Corridor, who is pursuing a master’s degree in dramatic writing. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in creative writing from Central Connecticut State University. Her script about a boy’s struggle to deal with his father’s death, “Two Thousand Bridges,” made it to the quarterfinals.

Watch Schebetta and Steeltown Entertainment founder Carl Kurlander on Pittsburgh Today.