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Western Student's Play to be Performed on College Stage

Jimmy Goggin's play will be shown at Western Connecticut State University Friday through Sunday.

A Western Connecticut State University student has written a play that will be performend on stage this weekend at Western in Danbury.

Jimmy Goggin, 20, a theater and performing arts student, wrote a play called "Leviathan," a sea monster referred to in the Bible. Goggin describes the play as such: "The Orisons are a modern American family like any other: middle class with four children, all of whom seem perfectly fine on the surface. However, when Grace, a friend of one of the Orisons, is invited for dinner, she soon learns that the family is hiding a monster. It's a monster that is both physical and not, which threatens to destroy the family and anyone else who sets foot in the house, including Grace."

"Basically, the premise is that forgiveness is key and that anger destroys," he said.

The play, which will be directed by Zachary Charles Barron and Anthony Paparello, will be performed this weekend at the Reimbold Theatre in Berkshire Hall located at the midtown campus, 181 White St., Danbury. The play times are at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11; 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12; and at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13. Tickets are free.

Dozens of students wrote plays and entered a contest to have them performed at the college this weekend. Goggin's was one of few chosen.

The WestConn junior and 2010 Naugatuck High School graduate said he developed a love for theater as a youngster in Naugatuck. He took a theater class as part of the town's SummerScape program for children when he was 11. Almost 10 years later, he hasn't stopped acting and continues to pursue a career in theater.

During high school, he performed with the Naugatuck Teen Theater, an experience he calls the most fulfilling experience of his high school career, along with swimming for NHS. Goggin acted in eight plays during his four years in high school, and has been involved in dozens of others since.

Last spring, he also developed a love for writing. He took a play writing class and said his professor inspired him to try his hand at his own play. Since then, he has written three. "Leviathan" is the first to be performed on a main stage as a featured performance.

The play was inspired by some hard personal times in Goggin's life last semester. Rather than complaining, he used writing as an outlet.

"I learned that from my mother (Naugatuck public school teacher, Sue Goggin). She tells me to find a way to let go of the bad stuff because otherwise it just bogs you down," Jimmy Goggin said.

He said his father, Naugatuck Tax Collector Jim Goggin Sr., also inspired part of the play. "The play is actually about people who don't follow my father's way of life, which is to just be happy," Jimmy Goggin said.

He said his goal while in college is to continue to improve as an actor and writer. He says he will need to for his post graduation plans, which is to work in theater in New York City.

To test himself, Goggin is handing out comment cards in the audience this weekend to allow spectators to comment anonymously on the play. He's doing it because, he says, "the audience is the most important part of the theater, and you have to respect their opinion."

It will be a bold step. And while he thinks people will enjoy the play, Goggin will take it in stride if he gets some critiques. As he's learned from his parents, he will just let it go, be happy and work to get better.

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