UTNT (UT NEW THEATRE) Comes to Oscar G. Brockett Theatre

By: Feb. 18, 2019
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The University of Texas Department of Theatre and Dance at Austin presents UTNT (UT New Theatre), March 12-31, 2019 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 twelfth year, UTNT brings to the stage compelling works by I-Chia Chiu, Hannah Kenah, Daria Miyeko Marinelli and Thom May.

"Now in its twelfth iteration, UTNT has consistently served as a launchpad for UT's graduate and undergraduate theatre artists; artists who are continuing to change the American theatre landscape and influence hearts and minds around the world," share curator KJ Sanchez and co-curator Alexandra Bassiakou Shaw. "We've been fortunate this year to have four playwrights, each with wildly diverse aesthetic ambitions. More than any other year, their scripts call for unique production concepts, development processes and presentation styles. Given the scope and purpose of their works, we decided to program the productions in a festival format with two shows in repetition in the Oscar G. Brockett Theatre and two works in residence in our Studio Theatre spaces."

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 2019 UTNT (UT New Theatre) plays include:

a place called the middle
By I-Chia Chiu
Directed by Adam L. Sussman
March 26-27, 29-30 at 7:30 p.m. and March 31 at 2:00 p.m.
Studio Theatre 2.180 | F. Loren Winship Building

Performed in collaboration with the audience, a place called the middle is a participatory journey to a mythical hometown called "the middle," a place where the earth moves so slowly that inhabitants live for only half a day. The performance explores the idea of remembering, returning and reliving. Are we always traveling? How do we see and help each other in the middle of our own stories?

I-Chia Chiu is a storyteller. She writes plays, poems and fairy tales and is passionate about devising, teaching and directing. For Chiu, storytelling has two purposes: to heal wounds and to give a voice to the silent. Her works have been developed by Stumbling Ostrich, a theatre ensemble she founded in Taiwan. She has received funding from the New Artist Award Program from the Ministry of Culture in Taiwan to develop her work. ichiachiu.weebly.com

Three Shitty Sons
By Hannah Kenah
Directed by Mason Rosenthal
March 14, 16, 27-29, 31 at 7:30 p.m. and March 30 at 2:00 p.m.
Oscar G. Brockett Theatre | F. Loren Winship Building

Three Shitty Sons is the story of three shitty sons who love the holidays, and in other news, they want their mother to hurry up and die already. Meanwhile, a frustrated narrator finds ways to insert herself into the family's dysfunction. This disheveled comedy is an homage to Our Town's theatrical examinations of life and the afterlife.

Hannah Kenah is a playwright, performer, and devising artist. She has been developing work with the Rude Mechs since 2008, most recently serving as the writer on Field Guide, which was commissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre and premiered in their 2017-2018 season. She is also a company member with Salvage Vanguard Theater and recently did a workshop of her play Heaven Born Wind with artistic director Jenny Larson in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her play With Great Difficulty Alice Sits was selected as a semifinalist for the 2018 Relentless Award. Kenah is a Michener Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin.

30 Floods
By Daria Miyeko Marinelli
Directed and Developed with Anna Skidis Vargas
March 12-13, 15-16, 28, 31 at 7:30 p.m. and March 30 at 2:00 p.m.
Studio Theatre 1.134 | F. Loren Winship Building

What happens when a storm hits? Who leaves and who is left behind? And what happens on the eve of your 30th birthday? Do you go back to that small town that was flooded to see if you can find anything about your family; your past; or find the idea for your next book? Telling the story of an unnamed usonian town devastated by floods, rebuilt by its inhabitants and exploited by its offspring, 30 Floods is an exploration of devastation, legacy and creation that asks what it means to be flooded, rebuilt and turn 30.

Daria Miyeko Marinelli is a non-binary Japanese-Italian playwright. Marinelli's plays include We Are Samurai, Excipio, A Departure, Ravenous, and 893 | Ya-ku-za. Their work has been performed at Victory Gardens, Ensemble Theatre Company, The Flea, Boston Center for the Arts, The VORTEX and Rites and Reason Theatre, among others. Marinelli has developed work with SPACE on Ryder Farm, NNPN's MFA Playwrights Workshop at The Kennedy Center and The New Harmony Project. Their accolades include being a recipient of The Weston Award in Playwriting, an Arnold Fellow, a semifinalist for The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference and a showcased writer at the 2018 Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists.

Flora Circular
By Thom May
Directed by Jess Shoemaker
March 12-13, 15, 26, 30 at 7:30 p.m. and March 16, 31 at 2:00 p.m.
Oscar G. Brockett Theatre | F. Loren Winship Building

When Flo has a psychotic break in her first year at college, her itinerant uncle Ira shows up, believing he has the cure for her illness. 10 months later, Flo is hiding out in her mom's shed while she rethinks life with a new diagnosis; her parents, Harriet and Matthew, are navigating their "unrequited" divorce and Ira is trying to help Flo recover with his own idea of treatment. Flora Circular is a darkly comedic family drama that spans from Amherst to Istanbul and back in search of a cure for the past.

Thom May is a playwright and screenwriter from Reading, England. He has written for the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, been a member of the Royal Court Studio Group and his play war war brand war won the Royal Shakespeare Company's Other Prize (2015). His plays have been performed in London, Austin, Edinburgh, Cambridge and Coventry and he has been a playwriting fellow at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin since 2016.

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


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