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Texas Theatre And Dance Presents A PLAN AND NOT QUITE ENOUGH TIME

The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance presents a semi-staged reading featuring professional and student actors in a lyrical biography of the life and work Leonard Bernstein, directed by KJ Sanchez (ReEntry). Written by Kirk Lynn (The Method Gun) and commissioned through collaboration with The College of Fine Arts and Texas Performing Arts, A Plan and Not Quite Enough Time takes a symphonic look at the major melodies playing throughout Bernstein's life: music, family, spiritual longing, carnal passions and death. We see him as a boy and man, as a father and son; bisexually brilliant and politically naïve. Cymbals crash, the brass crescendo, the maestro takes a bow.

"Leonard Bernstein once said, 'To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.' My new play evokes the life and spirit of Bernstein, who seemed to always be pursuing great plans at the very limits of his personal resources," shares playwright Kirk Lynn. "[It is] not a strictly biographical or literal retelling of Bernstein's life. The play is composed using devised theatre techniques and relies on biography, contextual history and music theory. It illustrates Bernstein's desire to create a new form of American Opera, blending the best of classical music with contemporary popular music, which helped shape the modern American musical and brought about West Side Story."

Director KJ Sanchez, founder and CEO of American Records, an organization dedicated to making theatre that chronicles our time, has also directed reimagined classics, new plays and her own documentary plays Off-Broadway and at theatres across the country (The Goodman, The Humana Festival, Milwaukee Rep, Asolo Rep and the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park). As a playwright, she has been produced at Berkley Rep, Playmakers Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Round House and Off-Broadway at Urban Stage and Here Arts, among others. Sanchez currently serves as an associate professor of playwriting and directing at The University of Texas at Austin.

"I think Leonard Bernstein is an excellent subject for our time," says Sanchez. "He was complicated and complex, unafraid to wear his interests and passions on his sleeve, with a fierce wit, razor-sharp intelligence and a commitment to liberal values that made him an easy target for the weaker spirit. In short, at a time that might feel like all complexities are boiled down to a simple 'for or against' ideology, a little time with Bernstein is the perfect relief."

"This presentation of A Plan and Not Quite Enough Time is made possible through the College of Fine Arts' Visiting Chair in the Fine and Performing Arts endowment," shares Department of Theatre and Dance chairman, Brant Pope. "Texas Performing Arts, The College of Fine Arts and the Department of Theatre and Dance have commission playwright Kirk Lynn in writing a piece about Leonard Bernstein in honor of the centenary of his birth. With the support of Kathy Panoff, Director and Associate Dean at Texas Performing Arts, and Doug Dempster, Dean of the College of Fine Arts, this production stands as part of the larger celebration of the life and work of this American musical legend."

Playwright Kirk Lynn is a novelist and a playwright currently living in Austin, Texas. His debut novel, Rules for Werewolves, was published in 2015 by Melville House and is currently being adapted for the screen. Lynn teaches playwriting and devising at The University of Texas at Austin and is one of five artistic directors of the Rude Mechs theatre collective. With the Rude Mechs, Lynn has written and adapted many plays including Lipstick Traces, Method Gun and Not Every Mountain, which was staged this summer at Pivot Arts (Chicago, IL) and the Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis, MN).

Commissioned by the College of Fine Arts Dean's Office, Texas Theatre and Dance and Texas Performing Arts.

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