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UT Department Of Theatre And Dance Presents New Works From Rising Playwrights


The University of Texas Department of Theatre and Dance at Austin presents UTNT (UT New Theatre), March 4-13, 2020 in multiple locations throughout the F. Loren Winship Drama Building. Established in 2007 by nationally renowned playwright Steven Dietz, UTNT (UT New Theatre) is an annual showcase of newly developed works for the American stage from playwrights of the Department of Theatre and Dance's master of fine arts program and Michener Center for Writers. Now in its thirteenth year, UTNT brings to the stage compelling works by ascending playwrights.

"It is an honor to present these new works, written by third-year M.F.A. in Playwriting candidates," shares producing artistic directors KJ Sanchez and Alexandra Bassiakou Shaw. "We've been fortunate this year to have eight galvanizing writers - Dan Caffrey, I.B. Hopkins, Minghao Tu, Cecelia Raker, Paul Kruse, Daniel Tejera, Lane Michael Stanley and Jess Shoemaker - each with wildly diverse aesthetic ambitions. More than any other year their scripts called for unique production concepts, development processes and presentation styles. Given the scope and purpose of their works, we decided to program the plays in a festival format. These plays have never existed before and are the products of insight, collaboration, craft, dedication and visions for how we share stories in this changing world."

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), Abe Koogler (Fulfillment Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, 2017), Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig (2011 Wasserstein Award Recipient), George Brant (2008 Keene Prize for Literature, Elephant's Graveyard), Kimber Lee (2013-2014 Lark Fellow) and Kirk Lynn (2011 USA Fellow in Theatre Arts).

The 2020 UTNT (UT New Theatre) plays include:

Sow and Suckling

By Dan Caffrey

Directed by Liz Fisher

March 6 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. and March 7 at 2:00 p.m.

Lab Theatre | F. Loren Winship Building

30 years after the events of Lord of the Flies, the book's characters have grown comfortably into their 40s - or so they think. After a Christmas Eve dinner goes horribly wrong, the violence from their youth threatens to overrun their families and carefully constructed lives. At turns a riff on a classic piece of literature, an extremely dark comedy and a middle-aged horror story, Sow and Suckling posits that repression only leads to further savagery.

Tjipetir: A Search History

By I.B. Hopkins

Directed by Jess Shoemaker

March 5-6, 8, 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Acting Studio (WIN 2.180) | F. Loren Winship Building

An uptight Etymologist finds herself on a warped detective case when pieces of rubber begin washing up on beaches all over the world. The single word inscribed on each of them, "TJIPETIR," leads her on a dizzying expedition into submarine warfare, a Javanese rubber plantation, the history of the internet, an octopus with a vendetta and a dark family secret.

A Fisful of Trespassing

By Minghao Tu

Directed by Anna Skidis Vargas

March 5, 7, 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Lab Theatre | F. Loren Winship Building

"I'm gonna take all the naked cowboys in Texas till I find myyy naked cowboy." - Clint-John

Two guys in a totalitarian country fancy the American Old West. When a shipwreck leaves them stranded on an isolationist island, these wannabe cowboys do what the old Hollywood cowboys did: chase after love, freedom and myths-only this time, with zany shenanigans. Minghao Tu's A Fistful of Trespassing is a farcical fever dream-bubbles burst like dynamite.

Bog Butter

By Cecelia Raker

Directed by Khristián Méndez Aguirre

March 4, 12 at 7:30 p.m., March 7 at 5:00 p.m. and March 8 at 2:00 p.m.

Acting Studio (WIN 2.180) | F. Loren Winship Building

When A tries to bond with her sister B over their shared obsession with the fermented ancient butter that's found buried in peat bogs, she digs up more than she bargained for: not only the end of the whole polluted, broken world, but also the dairymaids of the deep past and the far future - and some vulnerability she might not be ready to handle.

Not Omaha

By Paul William Kruse

Directed by Lane Michael Stanley

March 4 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and March 8 at 2:00 p.m.

Lab Theatre | F. Loren Winship Building

Not Omaha is a surreal, darkly odd story about the end of the world in a small town. What if the apocalypse was like the death of a parent - natural, strange and sometimes beautiful?


By Danny Tejera

Directed by Mike Steele

March 5, 11 at 7:30 p.m. and March 8 at 5:00 p.m.

WIN 1.134 | F. Loren Winship Building

A garage. It is the grimy underbelly of an otherwise luxurious mansion in Madrid. Three friends-no longer children but not quite adults-and one dying golden retriever waste away, one Friday night at a time. They bob along to techno, get high, get drunk, make plans, get angry, lose interest, spill things, shit-talk their friends and ollie over skateboards. They try to wield what little power they have-or maybe it's a lot-over life and over each other.

rain falls special on me*

By Lane Michael Stanley

Directed by Andrea Hart

March 8 at 11:00 a.m.

WIN 1.134 | F. Loren Winship Building

When it rains in Austin, Texas, the best place to stay dry through the night is behind the theater. Weather and circumstance bring together Mikey, Snake, Miss Candace, Motor, Mac and Julie - all of whom are on the street for different reasons, here now to navigate their relationships, dreams and often, survival.

The Book of Orpah*

By Jess Shoemaker

Directed by Andrea Hart

March 7 at 11:00 a.m.

WIN 1.134 | F. Loren Winship Building

In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. (Ruth 1:1)

The Book of Orpah is a rich poem-play that traces the love of three women across their collective history, grappling with the impact of generational trauma, the nature of God and whether it is possible to reach one another across boundaries.

For more information on UTNT (UT New Theatre), please visit

*indicates a given title will be performed as a reading. All readings are free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

All titles, dates and venues are subject to change.

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