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CSM Alum and Award-Winning Playwright Bob Bartlett Pens Immersive Love Letter to Record Stores

July 26, 2023
love and vinyl

“My formative theater experiences were at CSM, and I’ve worked as a theater artist and teacher since. My life would be less fulfilling without my experiences at CSM.”

Left, CSM Alum and Playwright Bob Bartlett has written a play that is staged in an Annapolis record store starring Actors Andy Brownstein, Rachel Manteuffel, and co-producer Carlos Saldaña, who are pictured right.

College of Southern Maryland (CSM) alumni are everywhere and are often found doing interesting things in interesting places. But Bob Bartlett ’84, is raising the bar on unique undertakings this summer: for the next several weeks, he can be found staging a play in an Annapolis record shop. 

Bartlett is an award-winning playwright who specializes in productions meant to be seen in unlikely places, including a forest, a laundromat and his own backyard. His latest, “Love and Vinyl,” explores browsing for love and vinyl in the digital age. It opened June 29 and will run through Aug. 6 at KA-CHUNK!! Records in Annapolis. 

“I’ve loved KA-CHUNK!! Records – and spaces like it – for as long as I can remember,” said Bartlett. “Like so many of us, I mourned the loss of record stores and vinyl, and the ritual of heading to the local shop or even downtown to Tower Records on a Saturday night to meet friends and spend hours browsing for music.” 

Since his time at CSM, Bartlett has gone on to receive his MA in English from Bowie State University and his MFA in playwriting from Catholic University of America. He also received the 2022 USM Regents Faculty Award in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity, and is a founding member of The Welders, a Washington, DC-based, producing playwrights collective that received the John Aniello Award for Emerging Theater Company as part of Theatre Washington's 2016 Helen Hayes Awards. 

Bartlett, who also is also a long-time teacher of playwriting, screenwriting, and dramatic literature and theory at Bowie State University, credits CSM with helping start him down the path that led to his current success. 

“My formative theater experiences were at CSM, and I’ve worked as a theater artist and teacher since,” he shared. “I made lifelong friends in those years. I love the stage on the La Plata campus. I spent a lot of wonderful years in that building. 

“Professors like Emmitt and Jo Williams and Edna Troiana and so many others, especially those in the arts and languages, were my mentors,” he continued. “They helped me see that life as a teaching artist, as a writer, was possible – and they were right. My life would be less fulfilling without my experiences at CSM.” 

Love and Vinyl features regional actors Andy Brownstein, who won the Helen Hayes Award for his work in Signature Theatre’s “Assassins,” Carlos Saldaña, who also directs the production, and Rachel Manteuffel, who appeared in Bartlett’s laundromat play, “The Accident Bear.” 

Love and Vinyl runs Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 8 p.m. from June 29 – Aug. 6 at KA-CHUNK!! Records at 78 Maryland Ave. in Downtown Annapolis. Love and Vinyl runs 85 minutes with no intermission and is not suitable for children. Advanced ticket sales only are available at www.bob-bartlett.com. Because of the uniqueness of the space, the production seats only 10 guests per performance. Audience seating is provided and Bartlett said masks are optional. 

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