UTNT to Run 2/27-3/9 at Lab Theatre

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UTNT to Run 2/27-3/9 at Lab Theatre

The University of Texas Department of Theatre and Dance at Austin presents UTNT (UT New Theatre), February 27 - March 9 at the Lab Theatre. This annual showcase presents new plays from the Master of Fine Arts Playwriting Program.

Now in its seventh iteration, UTNT brings to stage dynamic works by Reina Hardy, Abe Koogler, Katie Bender, Briandaniel Oglesby, and William Anderson in collaboration with David Turkel. Curated by Steven Dietz and Gia Marotta, these new stories explore the life of a teenage genius, a stranger's arrival, brotherly love, reflection at the end of life, and a fresh look at Shakespeare's classic, Hamlet.

UTNT curator and UT professor Steven Dietz shares, "Tomorrow's plays are at UTNT today. UTNT is known as the launching pad to award-winning and widely produced new work for the American stage."

The university's Department of Theatre and Dance and Michener Center for Writers have been heralded nationally as incubators for new work (American Theatre). Notable alumni of these programs include Lisa D'Amour (2011 Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Detroit), Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig (2011 Wasserstein Award Recipient), George Brant (2008 Keene Prize for Literature, Elephant's Graveyard), Kimber Lee (2013-2014 Lark Felllow), and Kirk Lynn (2011 USA Fellow in Theatre Arts).

Preview Productions of:
Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven
By Reina Hardy
Directed by Natalie Novacek
Feb. 27, Mar. 1, 7 at 8 p.m. and Mar. 9 at 5 p.m.

Annie Jump is a 13-year-old science genius whose alien-obsessed father is the laughingstock of Strawberry, Kansas. One night in August, a meteor falls, and Annie meets Althea, an intergalactic supercomputer that manifests itself in the form of a mean girl with really nice hair. Althea's here to help Annie take humanity from the earth to the stars, but being the Chosen One isn't all glory. What is Althea hiding? And what will Annie have to sacrifice to fulfill her destiny?

Reina Hardy is a Michener Fellow at UT Austin, a 2013 finalist for the Terrence McNally Prize, the recipient of the 2012 Interact 20/20 Commission, and a National New Play Network Playwright. Her plays have most recently been produced at Salvage Vanguard, The Vortex, Capital Stage Sacramento and Las Vegas Little Theatre, and have been workshopped at Orlando Shakespeare, and the Great Plains Theatre Conference, where Reina was awarded the Holland New Voices Award. She spent part of this summer at the Kennedy Center, workshopping her as-yet untitled script, which was presented at the 2013 NNPN National Showcase for New Plays.

Advance Man
By Abe Koogler
Directed by Will Davis
Feb. 28, Mar. 6, 8 at 8 p.m. and Mar. 2 at 5 p.m.

Bear Creek is a small town. So when rumor spreads of an impending visit from the President himself, everyone gets very excited. There's just one problem - no one knows when he's coming, or why. And who's that mysterious man in a dark suit asking all those questions? A dark comedy about the way we live now.

Abe Koogler is a graduate playwright at UT Austin's Michener Center for Writers. He is a Playwrights' Center Core Apprentice, a Theatre Masters Visionary Playwright, and winner of the Kennedy Center ACTF's Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting. Abe is also co-artistic director of Underbelly, a vagabond theatre company. In 2013, Underbelly's show Slip River won the Austin Critics' Table Award for Best Comedy. Underbelly's newest show, Church of the Passionate Cat, will premiere in Austin in spring 2014.

Enhanced Readings of:
'ratio

Visual Narrative by William Anderson
Text Narrative by David Turkel
Directed by Jess Hutchinson
Mar. 1 at 11:00 a.m. and Mar. 8 at 2:00 p.m.

In the weeks following Hamlet's death, Horatio navigates a harrowing regime change at Elsinore under the rule of bloody-minded prince Fortinbras.

A collaboration by playwright David Turkel and designer William Anderson, 'ratio is an art-script that intertwines visual and textual narratives. Equal 'authors' to the work, Anderson and Turkel have developed the work over the course of a year, workshopping 'ratio with Dan Rothenberg, Artistic Director of Pig Iron Theatre Company (Philadelphia, PA) and now with UTNT director Jess Hutchinson.

William Anderson is a third-year master of fine arts candidate in scenic design. His work has been seen at Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Profiles Theater, The Court, The House Theater Of Chicago, Red Tape and Florence International Theatre Company. At UT Austin, he has designed the set for The Cataract, Don Giovanni, and Colossal.

David Turkel's plays have been produced in abandoned churches (Wild Signs), repurposed breweries (Holler), textile mills (Stroke/Book), lofts (F.O.R.D.) and even the occasional theatre (Nadia, Crimson and Clover, Key to the Field). He was a founding member of Chapel Hill, North Carolina's The Somnambulist Project and Pittsburgh's Bricolage Theatre Company.

Still Now
By Katie Bender
Directed by Rudy Ramirez
Mar. 2 and 9 at 2:00 p.m.

After witnessing the fall of the twin towers, Annie heads to Japan to study Butoh, looking for a dance form that expresses the destruction she can't comprehend. Ten years later, Annie is diagnosed with stage four cancer and returns to Butoh to prepare for her final dance. Still Now confronts us with the accelerated motion of a woman learning and losing her body, accompanied by the doctors, teachers, friends and lovers that become her partners in movement, to ask the question: what can our bodies teach us that our minds cannot fathom?


Katie Bender is a playwright, performer and third-year master of fine arts candidate in playwriting at UT Austin. Her plays are irreverent, fun and magical, exploring characters and worlds at the edge of what is possible. Her new play The Fault premiered at the UT Oscar G. Brockett Theatre in the fall of 2013. Slip River, which she co-created won the Austin Critics' Table Award for Best Comedy of 2013.

Or, "The One with the Dogs"
By Briandaniel Oglesby
Directed by Jeremy Lee Cudd
Mar. 1 and 8 at 11:00 a.m.

In a crappy house surrounded by a dead walnut orchard, brothers Boomer and Dirt struggle with each other, with themselves, and with their dog-breeding business. As their prized pregnant pooch swells, they seem on the way to strike it big. Their dreams are disrupted when Boomer brings home Marisol, who should be a one-night stand, and Dirt finds a boy who will never grow up.

Briandaniel Oglesby hails from the state of California, where he cofounded Barnyard Theatre, a company that produces new plays in an old barn. He holds a B.A. from UC Irvine and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UC Riverside. His fiction has been published in a number of literary journals and anthologized in New California Writing. His play Halfway, Nebraska was developed at Playwrights Week at the Lark. With Benjamin Hardin and a group of University of Texas at Austin undergraduate students, he created Third Street for the Cohen New Works Festival presented by the University Co-op in 2013.

For more information on UTNT (UT New Theatre), please visit www.JoinTheDrama.org.

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