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Student script writer wins contest

Monday, March 10, 2014

Each year, a new visionary is crowned as the top winner of the Communication Department Script Writing Contest. This year, that title goes to sophomore Ryan Kushner for his script, “My Roast Duck.”

Inspired by an ancient Chinese proverb: A man who waits for a roast duck to fly into his mouth must wait a very long time — Kushner tells a story about an alienated, self-centered college student who sets off on a journey on his bike in the midst of winter to turn his life around and find his symbolic “roast duck.”

Taking a page from his personal life, Kushner, who likes to bike as a hobby, incorporated this self-propelling idea into his script as a symbol of progress. “The main character wants to take charge and change his life,” said Kushner. “In this story, biking symbolizes moving forward, both mentally and physically.”

Whether or not this lonely soul reaches his ultimate goal in the end is something the audience will have to find out when it premieres at the end of spring semester. Filming for “My Roast Duck” began in early March.

“Writing a screenplay is always something I wanted to do; I just never did before coming to Mercyhurst,” said Kushner, who previously entered the same script in the department’s contest as a freshman. Aspiring director Caitlin MacBride ’13 was selected that year, winning with her script “100.”

Between completing the script in its entirety and winning the contest, Kushner has been reaffirmed in his dream to pursue writing for the entertainment industry after graduation. He wants to do creative writing for television or become a novelist.

“I feel like this is a great opportunity and a great chance to do something fun and original,” he said. “The other people who I’m working with — nine actors and Dan Tarr, director of Laker TV — will make it good in spite of me.”