UCSB's Launch Pad Zooms Into Action With ALONE, TOGETHER

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UCSB's Launch Pad Zooms Into Action With ALONE, TOGETHER

LAUNCH PAD alumni playwrights have rallied to provide new material for UCSB's Department of Theater and Dance students. In an overwhelming response to an invitation from LAUNCH PAD Artistic Director Risa Brainin and Professor Annie Torsiglieri, 24 playwrights have written monologues and short plays inspired by the prompt "Alone, Together" and tailored specifically for the Zoom platform.

"With the devastating loss of face-to-face instruction and productions, we wanted to find a way to keep the work alive during this ongoing crisis," says Torsiglieri. "We decided we needed scripts meant to be performed in a virtual, online theater. We wanted to embrace the limitations."

Enter LAUNCH PAD, with 15 years of new play innovation and a distinguished roster of alumni artists-in-residence. These brand new pieces are the centerpiece for the now-online directing class and provide nearly 100 roles for acting students hungry to perform. Culminating in an end-of-year "Zoom Festival" open to the public, "Alone, Together" also includes professional directors and guest artists. The Zoom performance will be on June 6, 2020 with time and Zoom link to be announced at a later date.

"LAUNCH PAD was created to give students an opportunity to work with professional playwrights on pieces that are still in development," says Brainin. "Thanks to these gifted and generous writers, we are able to continue that tradition in a time when it's most needed. Annie and I have been knocked out by the stunning material coming in every day. The Festival is going to showcase our playwrights, students, faculty, and guest artists beautifully!

"The virtual experience will never be a substitute for live theater but, for now, in these extraordinary circumstances, it's a challenge we are excited to meet."

"Alone, Together" participating playwrights: Linda Alper, Katie Bender, Jami Brandli, Leo Cabranes-Grant, Dan Castellaneta, Mia Chung, Yussef El Guindi, Anne García-Romero, Idris Goodwin, Enid Graham, Arlene Hutton, Lila Rose Kaplan, Davies King, Deb Lacusta, Jenny Mercein, Brian Otaño, Lynn Rosen, Cheri Steinkellner, James Still, Alison Tatlock, Annie Torsiglieri, John Walch, Cheryl L. West, and Sheri Wilner.

LAUNCH PAD is an innovative model of new play development, providing a collaborative incubator for playwrights-in-residence, UCSB theater students, and professional guest artists. Each year, new works are developed through LAUNCH PAD Pop Ups, the Summer Reading Series, and fully realized Preview Productions.


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