To learn more about the process of bringing Sonnets for an Old Century to life, we spoke with director Corey Allen, associate director Braxton Rae and actors Sophie Miller, Se’An Boatner and Jared VosWinkel about the lessons they’ve learned from the characters of Sonnets and the shared excitement they’ve felt at being able to create in a room together once again.
Meet the cast of Sonnets for an Old Century, the first production of the 2021/2022 Texas Theatre and Dance Season. Portraying the diverse collection of souls in José Rivera's anthology-styled play is an all-star ensemble of 20 actors, including both students and faculty.
Texas Theatre and Dance is pleased to present the 2021/2022 Season, featuring new works by emergent playwrights, an exploration of movement and meaning, a powerful play about the nuances of political resistance, an investigation of human emotion, connection and technology and a reflection on the magnitude and impact of an individual in the grand scheme of existence.
Faculty member Dr. Sara Simons has been recognized as the recipient of the 2020-2021 Department of Theatre and Dance Teaching Excellence Award, a prestigious teaching accolade that celebrates her contributions to student success within the department. This award is granted to educators within the Department of Theatre and Dance who go above and beyond in their work both in and out of the classroom.
Former student Will Brittain has appeared in indie films and mainstream movies alike, with roles in A Teacher (Sundance Film Festival, 2013), Kong: Skull Island and Let Him Go, among others. Brittain was recently featured in Anthem, including a discussion about his growing film career and his most recent role in The Forever Purge.
Art director Yvonne Boudreaux (M.F.A. 2007) is among the design team who has earned the drama series Yellowstone an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program.
Dr. Sara Simons, co-area head and assistant professor of instruction (Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities and UTeach Theatre), has been named a recipient of the 2020-2021 College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teaching Award, recognizing her outstanding dedication to teaching that forges connections and challenges systems of oppression.
Faculty member Kirk Lynn and collaborator Lana Lesley, two founding members of Rude Mechs, discuss their current residency with the Department of Theatre and Dance, past performances and what's next for future creations.
Faculty member Dr. Lisa B. Thompson earned a spring 2021 Creation Fund Award from the National Performance Network for her new work The Black Feminist Guide to the Human Body, which is co-commissioned by The Vortex, Fusebox Festival, the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre and the Pyramid Theatre Company.
This fall, the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin welcomes incoming faculty member and award-winning scenic designer Josafath Reynoso who will serve as a professor of scenic design in the UT Live Design area. Reynoso has designed work both across the United States and around the world and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field.
Playwright Reina Hardy (M.F.A. 2014), co-directors Rudy Ramirez (M.A. 2012) and Marcus McQuirter (Ph.D. 2012), actors Oktavea LaTio (B.A. 2017) and Christina Blake (B.A. 2021) and others members of the team behind Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven discuss the magical elements that make The Vortex Theatre's production a joy for audience members of all ages.
In pursuit of the missing element of in-person theatre, the team of artists behind Community Garden (UTNT (UT New Theatre) navigated a unique rehearsal process. From growing their set in the Campus Environmental Center Microfarm to monitoring rainy weather during performance week, their resilience brought to fruition UT Theatre and Dance’s first in-person performance in over a year.
UT News spoke with faculty member Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, along with the other 2020-2021 President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award recipients, about the future of education. Bonin-Rodriguez shared how making personal connections with his students in the wake of tragedy and creating a collaborative learning environment has helped him grow as an educator.
After being awarded a MacDowell Fellowship in the spring of 2020, faculty member and playwright Dr. Lisa B. Thompson will join 46 other artists for a MacDowell Summer Residency, aimed at identifying and celebrating emerging and established art-makers and providing them with a creative space free of distractions.
This past May, faculty member KJ Sanchez teamed up with Salvage Vanguard Theater and The University of Texas at Austin through her company American Records to present Un Año, an immersive documentary theatre project featuring the work of multiple UT Theatre and Dance artists.
Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven by alumnaReina Hardy's (M.F.A. 2014) will be presented at The VORTEX Theatre this summer as part of it's rolling world premiere through National New Play Network. On stage June 3 - July 4, 2021, this production will be directed by Marcus McQuirter (Ph.D. 2012) and Rudy Ramirez (M.A. 2012) under producing artistic director Bonnie Cullum (M.F.A. 1989), with contributions by staff members Clarissa Smith and Desireé Humphries and featuring graduating senior Christina Blake as "Althea."
Ph.D. candidate in Performance as Public Practice Alexis Riley was recently selected as a 2021 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellow, the largest and most prestigious award for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values.
Faculty member and renowned playwright/director KJ Sanchez will be directing the world premiere of her play Need Your Love as part of Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's 2021-2022 season. This musical docudrama about the life of R&B singer Little Wille John will run from October 30-December 12, 2021.
The 2021 Austin Latinx New Play Festival, presented by Teatro Vivo and ScriptWorks, celebrates all-new works of theatre written, directed and workshopped by Latinx artists, many of whom come from our UT Theatre and Dance community. This year's virtual presentation will take place May 13-15, 2021.
Faculty members Erica Gionfriddo and J.E. Johnson were among eight faculty members from the College of Fine Arts to receive COVID Transformational Online Instruction Contributions Awards, a recently established award presented by the Provost's Office to acknowledge faculty and staff who created innovative pedagogical resources and programs when transferring their classes into an online setting.