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Wagner College Theatre to Present Three Works-in-Progress This Season

Wagner College Theatre to Present Three Works-in-Progress This Season

Wagner College Theatre, as part of its New Works Agenda, will present three works-in-progress Trifles, Small Town Story and The Mouth Pieces, at its intimate Stage One space (located behind the Wagner College Football Stadium).

Spearheaded by Wagner College Theatre Professor Theresa McCarthy, the New Works Agenda will afford audiences the opportunity to see theater-in-the-making, while students gain valuable new learning experiences.

"At my recommendation, the Wagner College Theatre Department is supporting a workshop process that gives the faculty and the students the opportunity to develop new theatre works," said Professor Theresa McCarthy. "We're interested in working with students on new plays and musical theatre works that have been unknown to the actors. We want to give them opportunity to create a role that has no precedent for them to emulate. The process of workshopping new work through revisions and rewrites is a crucial skill for the young actor. It is the best way to get in at the ground floor of a project that could potentially become an important production. Through this experience the actors get to first work in an unpressured rehearsal period with an informal presentation."

The first of the new workshop series is the one-act play Trifles by Susan Glaspell, directed by David McDonald, presented this weekend, Friday, November 3 through Sunday, November 5. The public is invited to attend the work-in-progress Friday through Sunday at 8pm, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. All performances are free. General seating, reservations suggested by calling (718) 390-3259.

Directed by WCT faculty David McDonald, the play explores the day after a murder in a small Nebraskan town, as a small group of characters looks for clues. The play is based on the murder of John Hossack in Medora, Iowa in 1900. Susan Glaspell wrote the play in 1916, 15 years after she had been assigned to report on the trial of the case for the Des Moines Daily News. The play was later developed into the short story A Jury of Her Peers.

The play premiered with The Provincetown Players, a theatre founded by Susan Glaspell and her husband George Cram Cook. Trifles premiered as Glaspell's first solo play, along with some of the first plays written by prominent playwright Eugene O'Neill.

Featuring a cast of five actors, Wagner's production of Trifles includes Nick Manna (George Henderson), Matt Healey (Henry Peters), Zachary Norris (Lewis Hale), Danielle Allen (Mrs. Peters) and Emily Upton (Mrs. Hale). The creative team is Wendy Kraemer (Sound Design, Stage Manager), Lexi Takaki (Lighting Design), and Austin Nakamura (Dramaturg).

Following the run of Trifles, the News Works Agenda will present:

Tony winner Michele Pawk directs the musical Small Town Story (December 1-3), book and lyrics by Sammy Buck and music and lyrics by Brandon James Gwinn. David Sisco (WCT's La Cage aux Folles) is music director. Inspired by actual events, two families in a North Texas town struggle with a community battle ignited by a high school production of the musical Rent.

Theresa McCarthy directs The Mouth Pieces (April 6-8) an evening of three one act musicals with lyrics by Sophia Chapadjiev and music by Allison Leyton-Brown: Pilgrimage to the Mouth, Theory of Kiss, and On Teeth and Longing.

Visit www.wagner.edu/theatre for more information.


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