On stage now in Boston at Huntington Theatre Company, Quixote Nuevo retells one of literature's most vibrant and memorable characters. Directed by faculty member KJ Sanchez with voice and dialect coaching by interim chair Robert Ramirez, this piece transports audiences to a border town in Texas, where the eccentric, brilliant knight Cervantes embarks on a cross-desert quest to reunite with a long-lost love.
2019 Waterloo Greenway “Creek Show” will conclude with an installation created by Texas Applied Arts, built through collaboration with 25 students from across the 40 acres. The Creek Monster Habitat is an illuminated, interactive, multisensory art installation that concludes the path that winds through downtown Austin, illuminated with works of conservation-centric artistry.
Austin 360 recently interviewed Anna Skidis Vargas, M.F.A. in Directing candidate and director of Spring Awakening, in advance of the production's run this November. A punk rock adaptation of an 1891 German modernist drama, Spring Awakening tells a story of adolescent love, the trials of puberty and the friendships built in the face of an uncomprehending world.
Alumnus Rudy Ramirez (M.A. 2012) has led the charge for more visibility of Latinx voices on the Austin stage, culminating in Futurx Festival, a multi-day showcase of forward-thinking, Latinx-penned performances, including solo shows, plays, improv and a host of avant-garde work.
Faculty member Adriana Serrano (Department of Theatre and Dance and Radio-Television-Film) served as the production designer for The Obituary of Tunde Johnson, which opened the 2019 Austin Film Festival last week. Written by Stanley Kalu and directed by Ali LeRoi, The Obituary of Tunde Johnson tells the story of a gay African American Teenager who is forced to relive, over and over again, the day he is shot and killed at the hands of the police.
Though it premiered over a decade ago, [12 Ophelias (a play with broken songs)] has new resonance in a year when women worldwide are seeking a reckoning of their power via #MeToo and other movements. Under Jess Shoemaker's direction, the show is a moving, mysterious production that frees Ophelia at last from Hamlet's shadow.
Theatre and Dance faculty members collaborate with Radio-Television-Film to create practical special effects class
Radio-Television-Film faculty Ben Bays and Deepak Chetty worked with Department of Theatre and Dance lecturers J.E. Johnson and Karen Maness to interconnect three courses. Bays taught advanced visual effects, while Chetty led a course on three-dimensional animation, both of which are seen as special effects in the subgenre of visual effects.
Will Brittain (attended) plays "Trey" in Josh Harmon's SKINTIGHT, which receives its West Coast premiere at The Geffen Playhouse later this month. Brittain recently sat down with Broadway World to discuss his work on SKINTIGHT alongside original stars of the Broadway production Idina Menzel and Eli Gelb.
Playwriting and Directing faculty member KJ Sanchez was recently named a recipient of the University Co-op Hamilton Book Author Awards for her record of creative research, including three world premieres at three different renown venues: (dis)placed (Guthrie Theatre), Grandma’s Empanadas (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre), Cincinnati King (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), as well as her directorial role in Quixote Nuevo (Alley Theatre) and the world premiere of Knyum (Merrimack Repertory Theatre).
Headed to the New Orleans Film Festival (Narrative Short) and NewFest (Bless Your Queer Heart Shorts Program) this October, Other Black Boys, written and directed by alumnus Nyles Washington (attended) along with writer/producer Rama Tchuente (B.F.A. 2018) and Eli Weinberg (B.F.A. 2018) stars Will Kachi (current student), Brandon Pegram (current student), Eli Weinberg and Nyles Washington.
Faculty member Kirk Lynn's The Cold Record tells the story of a 12 year old boy trying to set the record for the most days leaving school sick and in the process falls in love with the school nurse. Directed by faculty member Alexadra Bassiakou Shaw, The Cold Record was on stage at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Canada as part of Brave Festival 2019.
Alumnus and Emmy Award-winning actor Rip Torn (B.S. 1953) passed away this week at age 88. Torn made his reputation as a gifted actor on film and both on and off Broadway. Most notably, portraying the role of "Artie" on the comedy series The Larry Sanders Show for which he received six consecutive Emmy nominations, winning the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a comedy series in 1996.
With the 2018–2019 academic year and production season over, summer settles into the Winship Drama Building. No rest, however, for the artistic! Texas Theatre and Dance faculty, staff and students are making their way all around the globe for a range of creative and scholastic projects. In this two-part series, we give a brief glimpse into the whos, whats and wheres of Summer 2019. This installment: our notes for June.
Alumni Travis Tate (M.F.A. 2018) and Graham Schmidt (M.F.A. 2018) have teamed up for Theatre East's 5X5 Drama Series, presenting Tate's work Color at the End of the World. Theatre East is an official partner of NYC Pride and this year's 5X5 Drama Series features original, commissioned work celebrating the LGBTQ community remembering the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
Current Michener Fellow Gursimrat Kaur is one of three playwrights recently selected for The Core Apprentice Program at the Playwrights' Center, which pairs student playwrights with professional mentors and offers full play development workshops at the Center. Previous recipients include George Brant, Ike Holter, Kimber Lee and Martin Zimmerman.
Isaac Gomez's (B.A. 2013) monologue play the way she spoke will premiere at the Minetta Lane Theatre Off-Broadway in July 2019. Based on a series of intimate interviews, the way she spoke demonstrates the power of speaking truth. The story that unfolds details disturbing and haunting accounts of the murder of thousands of women in Juarez, Mexico, and one playwright’s journey of discovery and responsibility.
Alumna Kimberly Belflower's (M.F.A. 2017) play John Proctor is the Villain was selected as one of 33 new plays on the 2019 Kilroys List, which includes un-produced and underproduced plays by women, trans and non-binary authors. Titles are selected by nomination through the New Play Exchange.
Recent alumnus Andrew G. Rodriguez (B.F.A. 2019) joins the Professional Training Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville. This program guides talented and motivated early-career theatre professionals to undertake a nine-month long training program that combines practical experience with professional development opportunities.
Alum Travis Tate (M.F.A., 2018) is one of five playwrights selected for the 2018-2019 5X5 Drama Series produced by Theatre East this June.
Andrew Aaron Valdez (B.F.A., 2017) is one of twelve inaugural recipients of the Arts & Culture Leaders of Color Fellowship awarded by Americans for the Arts, The Joyce Foundation and the American Express Foundation. The ACLC Fellowship is a one-year professional development program for emerging and mid-career arts leaders of color across arts disciplines in the Great Lakes region that aims to be a model for systemic national arts leadership change.