The 2013 Cohen New Works Festival

Presented by University Co-op
March 25-29, 2013

Press and Reviews

The Austin Chronicle

The Daily Texan

2013 Team 

Faculty Co-Producers: Rusty Cloyes, David Justin and Kirk Lynn

The Cohen New Works Executive Committee: Cassidy Browning, Rosalind Faires, Isaac Gomez, Victoria Goss, Nathan Graham, Katelyn Griffiths, Kara Konop, Michael Massey, Taylor McCaslin, Sydney Monroe, Sarah Saltwick and Meg Thompson

2013 Festival Roster

Eye Contact

Eye Contact is a performance-based installation expressing the Westernization process of Chinese-American Women in the past 100 years. The installation will include: one scroll, two dolls, and Yao Chen.

Project Lead: Yao Chen

A Nostalgic Afternoon

A Nostalgic Afternoon is an installation of the largest blanket fort imaginable. Individuals have the opportunity to enter and write their story on the pages of a book. A blog url will be provided with the installation and participants are invited to visit the website the following week and read the compiled stories.

Project Lead: Caleb Britton and Katy Wicker

Almost Invincible

Almost Invincible is a new musical theatre collaboration piece. The concept of the show is a live-action graphic novel musical about a hero and villain in a small American city. Animated video projection will be used to bring this graphic novel to life as scenic elements and comic cell art.

Project Lead: Jeff Kurihara

Amelia at the Edge

July 1937. Fifteen-year-old Betty Klenck receives and transcribes the final transmissions of Amelia Earhart. Villainous company Last Words & Sons & Sons sets out to capitalize on Betty's lucrative find. Inspired by 1930s radio, this ensemble comedy, based on a true story, asks audiences to consider: what will be/come of your last words?

Project Leads: Lydia Nelson


Not Coke or saltine, Art-Vend dispenses donated artFrom vending machine. Art-Vend is a project founded by Jason Buchanan and Bich Vu featuring a vending machine that will dispense artwork donated by artists professional and amateur alike. All proceeds go towards The Cohen New Works Festival presented by the University Co-op.

Project Lead: Bich Vu

Bio Light

Bio Light is an Educational Exhibit featuring costumes that faithfully mimic sea animals in the Great Barrier Reef. Led technology and cutting edge costume materials help create the illusion of luminescence. A video presentation will allow the viewer to see the costumes in action and learn more about the creatures and their environment.

Project Lead: Susan MacCorkle


Colossal is an epic theatrical event. Featuring a twenty-person ensemble, dancing, and a drum corps, its plot centers on a University of Texas football player, struggling to move forward in the wake of a catastrophic spinal injury. A play about love, ability and extraordinary feats of strength, Colossal is both a celebration and examination of our nation's most popular form of theater.

Project Lead: Will Davis, Andrew Hinderaker, William Anderson

Dead Mall

Dead Mall presents a haunted world of half-forgotten stores and wholly forgotten people. Ghost stories and shadows fill the spaces where Macy's and Orange Julius used to be. For two teenage girls, a typical Saturday takes a dark turn. The muzak is on, but who is listening?

Project Lead: Eva Suter and Brian Kettler

Deja Vu

Deja Vu is a theatrical spectacle that invites the audience into one of our most personal areas -- our memory. This show reexamines how we look at memories by experimenting with the senses to discover how we really remember. Join us for a look into the complicated haze that is memory.

Project Lead: Sam Gorena

Good Girl/Bad Girl

Good Girl/Bad Girl investigates how culture, community, race, religion, age and language influence definitions of appropriate and inappropriate dress. Communities addressed are New Mexican women, Mexican women, Native American women, women who participate in sororities, and women who work on ranches and/or define themselves as Cowgirls. Research is presented through interviews and photographs.

Project Lead: Kaitlyn Aylward

Handcuffs are Not a Metaphor

People are taken from their homes. They wear pajamas. Suits. Who knows. They are told to sit on the floor; Do not move. Do not speak. Do not clap. A Work for local dancers and video from far away. A universe of oppression in a polygon.

Project Lead: Roni Chelnben

Intercultural Performance: Emerging Artists from UT and Chung Ang University

During the 2013 Spring Break vacation, artists from UT and Chung Ang University will create a work in Seoul, Korea. This lecture presentation will reveal the final dance theater piece of an intercultural collaboration between performing artists that explores the relationships between civilian Korean women and military men.

Project Lead: Yvonne Ferrufino


Ish is an auto-biographical solo performance exploring the story of how a young Jewish woman defined her own sense of identity through trauma and history. Ish explores the conscious and subconscious influence of identities we inherit but don't always know what to do with.

Project Lead: Rachel Gilbert

Light Instruments

Light Instruments aims to redefine the way people experience everyday spaces through the manipulation of light. The project consists of two independent systems that will alter everyday spaces, creating unique emotive experiences. One will be installed in the Payne Theatre Lobby and the second at the McCombs-UTC Fly Over Staircase.

Project Lead: Lincoln Davidson


L/\MBD/\ is a scientific art installation accompanied with a high-energy, physically-electric, animated scientific performance. The event will investigate astronomical phenomena involving light in our universe. Topics include gravitational lensing, the aurora borealis, and the cosmic microwave background.

Project Lead: Ryan Andrus

Perceiving Campus

What if that iconic view of the UT Tower was obscured? Would you invest the time to investigate your surrounding in more detail? This team of six architecture students plans on de-emphasizing the recognizable and bring awareness to the obscured. A series of obstructions and frames will be placed throughout the campus in an effort to bring about this mindset.

Project Lead: Charlotte Friedley

Slip River

Inspired by 19th century explorer narratives, Slip River recreates the experience of encountering new worlds, where rules shift and the unknown becomes visible, where peril--or possibility--are just around the river's bend. Incorporating interactive dance, soundscapes, and text, "Slip River" leads audiences through the shimmering underbelly of UT's Payne Theatre.

Project Leads: Katie Bender, Abe Koogler and Gabrielle Reisman

Suspicious Dinner

Joey likes the Internet. The Internet likes Joey. Generated from a hearty diet of Facebook, home videos, androids, and the diaries of prehistoric creatures, Suspicious Dinner is the story of a man's mad love affair with the world wide web.

Project Lead: Caleb Britton and Diana Small


Student organizations Dance Action and Classical Reinvention join forces to unify movement, live music, and photography in a guided performance through the Harry Ransom Center. Collaborating choreographers, dancers, and musicians will break the walls of traditional theater to bring their own invention into a haven of preservation and history.

Project Leads: Kate Kislingbury, Jacqueline Perrin and Hallie Ward

Eye of the Beholder aka The Beauty Party

The Beauty Play looks at how a monolithic ideal of beauty impacts the day-to-day life of people within the U.S. from various races and cultures. Using direct quotes and memories from personally conducted interviews, the play asks the audience to question their own definitions of beauty.

Project Lead: Paige Brown and Sarah A. Marcum

The Farewell

The Farewell is an experiential adventure navigating the themes of loss and grief through our memories, multimedia, audience interaction, Viewpoints based movement and honesty. how do we celebrate and honor the loved ones we have lost bth individually and as a community?

Project Leads: Katie Folger and Olivia Reep

The First Steps

The First Steps follows pairs of actors and dancers as they journey through their own pasts and relive the moments that shaped their lives, all-the-while focusing on the journey taken by each of these performers as they recall what it takes to finally say, and mean, the words: "I'm okay."

Project Leads: Austin Dowling, Kate McCarn, and Morganne Mazeika

The Lavender and the Letter

Meet LETTER who speaks for SARAH, a student with a disability, at the University of Blah Blah Blah. Follow LETTER and SARAH to engage in a conversation surrounding how the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), 39 years after its creation, still affects many in the world today.

Project Lead: Rebecca Goldstein

The Only Living Boy in New York

A play about a hermetic synesthete named Henry who is dealing with the recent loss of his mother by closing himself off from his father and the city until a mysterious girl named Peter enters his cramped Brooklyn apartment and scrambles his perceptions of the world.

Project Lead: Haley Elizabeth Anderson

The Priceless Slave: A Workshop Production

The Priceless Slave uncovers the true story of an antebellum slave-architect and his conflicted relationship with the woman who "borrowed" him to construct a lonely mansion in the wilderness of northern Louisiana. The project's aesthetics interweave theatre and the visual arts to create a cutting age Southern Gothic comedy.

Project Leads: Gary Jaffe, Lucy Junker and J.M. Meyer

The Way You Move Your Body

This dance/theatre piece exposes and dissolves disability prejudices. Abled and disabled dancers guide the audience from the world of outcasts to a world where difference is celebrated. It is an unsettling but eye-opening journey, leaving the audience cringing, laughing, crying, smiling, and questioning the way we conventionally perceive differently-abled people.

Project Lead: Lucy Kerr

The Women of Juarez

Before the war on drugs took precedence in our border country of Mexico, Ciudad Juarez had a bigger problem. Told through an ensemble of Latina women, The Women of Juarez explores the ways in which the stories of the women of Juarez -- the missing and the lost; the murdered and the ones left behind -- are honored and told in unconventional and untraditional ways.

Project Leads: Isaac Gomez and Bianca Sulaica

Third Street

What dinosaurs are chasing you? Third Street will be a staged reading of a full-length play, developed with an ensemble, about Shane, a strange an awkward kid who escapes into fantasies of knighthood, and Otis, the bully pursued by imaginary dinosaurs. They live on Third Street, and play in dirty alleys.

Project Lead: Briandaniel Oglesby and Ben Hardin

Times Two: A Public Display of Love and Desire

Originally created to be a male pas de deux, Times Two is a solo dance piece exploring loss and healing through the internal and external reflection. With the aid of a mirror, this solo performance piece examines the way physical reflection displays the instant-present in conjunction with memories from the past provoked by personal reflection. It is through this physical and metaphorical mirror that true healing can be questioned and explored.

Project Lead: Joey Gaona

We Are StarStuff

We Are StarStuff explores times and distance, observation and experimentation, magic, love and what we and the universe are really made of. Combining actual and imagined texts synthesized from our research of real personalities and powerful scientific concepts, creators and audience alike will experiment with the way we use stories and science to experience our world.

Project Leads: Jessica Hutchinson and Sarah Saltwick

West Texas Beehive

West Texas Beehive, a play in one act by Alexa Kelly, explores a romantic relationship rested by rigors of life in a brothel based on teh classic childhood song "I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee."

Project Lead: Alexa Kelly

Wild Abandon

Wild Abandon is a live intersect of original Blues and Folk Music in a casual concert format with varying styles of Technical Concert Dance. This interdisciplinary performance will wildly abandon all expectations.

Project Lead: Chelsea Pribble

Wonder and Wander

Designed for children under the age of two, this piece invites audience members to engage in play alongside the performers as they discover a series of objects. Responding to the audience's own sounds and movements, this piece will provide audiences a two-way experience of narrative, movement, sound and image.
Project Lead: Bethany Lynn Corey