UCSB's New Works Lab Amplifies New Artistic Voices

UCSB's New Works Lab Amplifies New Artistic VoicesUCSB's Department of Theater and Dance presents the third annual New Works Lab May 9 19 in the Performing Arts Theater. New Works Lab showcases bare bones developmental productions of half-hour scripted and devised plays. The program provides a basic 'fringe festival' level of technical and design support so that each work may evolve in content and structure through the final performance. The platform has most notably given Malique Guinn, a fourth-year undergraduate at the time, the opportunity to realize his play Gang Sines which would go onto to win him the 2018 Kennedy Center Hip Hop Theater Creator Award.

Mentored by France Ya-Chu Cowhig, Vickie J. Scott, Daniel Stein, and Una Mladenovic, New Works Lab features two bills, the Mountain Bill and Ocean Bill. The Mountain Bill explores a father/son generational clash through the prism of ideological differences, the power of imagination, and the healing process of a family rocked by trauma through the following plays: Radicals by Jason Bowe, Rewrites by Audrey Sherev, and Family by Jennifer Johnson.

The Ocean Bill illuminates our innate human nature to seek comfort in each other, as well as the toxicity these relationships can have on our lives in the following plays: The Hedgehog's Dilemma by Harry Davis and Shelf Life by Olivia Nathan.

The five pieces presented are the products of careful selection. The works have undergone rigorous and intensive revisions since their inception over a year ago, with continuous support from faculty, staff, and student mentors. As part of a collaborative workshop, New Works Lab features an entirely student-driven creative team including playwrights, directors, actors, designers, stage managers, and publicists working together to create these new and unique pieces.

In addition to student creative force, instrumental faculty mentors have supported this production throughout the process. Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, the head of the UCSB playwriting concentration and a theater professor, has led the overall production process. Cowhig is a world-renown playwright whose work has premiered in the esteemed Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Theatre of Great Britain, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Manhattan Theater Club, The Goodman Theatre, Trafalgar Studios 2 on the West End, and the J zsef Katona Theater in Budapest. Most notable accolades include the 2019 USA Fellowship, Wasserstein Prize, the Yale Drama Series Award, an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, the David A. Callichio Award, and the Keene Prize for Literature. Vickie J. Scott, the head of the lighting and design concentration at UCSB, has managed the technical design process. Scott has created lighting and scenic designs for highly acclaimed dance and theater productions throughout the U.S. and abroad. Daniel Stein, a highly recognized solo performer and professor of physical theater, has spearheaded the acting & directing mentorship. Stein has toured the world with his solo performances, is a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, and has taught masters courses at institutions throughout the world.

Don't miss the opportunity to discover what Daniel Stein describes as, a roller coaster of the human condition, that doesn't come without its responsibilities and consequences. Let your senses be amazed by our budding theatric artists, who will make you laugh, cry, and deeply ponder the complexity of the human condition.

The Department of Theater and Dance fosters a vibrant and stimulating environment that encourages creative self-expression and critical thinking. Undergraduate programs include intensive, conservatory-style training for actors and dancers, as well as general degrees with a focus on Dance, Design, Directing, Playwriting, Theater and Community, and Theater and Performance Studies. The department's nationally recognized and highly ranked graduate program offers a diverse array of interdisciplinary approaches to performance research within a global orientation. The department provides a lively forum for faculty to integrate teaching and research, at the cutting edge of their areas of expertise.

Tickets and more info at theaterdance.ucsb.edu

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