Kimberly Belflower's John Proctor is the Villain announced as part of Milwaukee Rep's 2020/2021 Season
Milwaukee Repertory Theater recently announced their 2020-2021 season, featuring John Proctor is the Villain by alumna Kimberly Belflower (M.F.A. 2017). This challenging, contemporary post- #metoo response to “classic” literature explores the power of young girls who fight to tell their own stories.
Austin-based Teatro Vivo presents award-winning (Un)Documents, written and performed by Jesús I. Valles and directed by alumnus Rudy Ramirez (M.A. 2012). Comprised of poems, journal entries and immigration paperwork, (Un)Documents is an attempt to ask questions about how we talk about citizenship, documentation, its absence and what, if anything, comes from telling.
Theatre and Dance faculty member Lisa B. Thompson was recently featured in Austin360 for her upcoming work Single Black Female, on stage this month at Ground Floor Theatre (Austin, Texas), as well as her contributions to the American stage and her work as an educator.
Alumnus Isaac Gómez's (B.A. 2013) new play I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is currently preparing for its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. With featured ensemble member Karen Rodriguez (B.A. 2013), this poignant adaptation of Erika L. Sánchez's award-winning novel follows Julia, a Chicago high school student as she navigates trials and tribulations of following her dreams of becoming a writer.
Single Black Female, written by faculty memberLisa B. Thompson and directed by alumnus Matrex Kilgore (B.A. 2015), takes the stage at Ground Floor Theatre this spring with a two-woman show featuring rapid-fire comic vignettes that explore the lives of thirty-something African American middle-class women in urban America as they search for love, clothes and dignity in a world that fails to recognize them amongst a parade of stereotypical images.
Playwriting faculty member Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Associate Professor of Practice) was recently named one of the recipients of the USA Fellowship from United States Artists. This $50,000 fellowship is granted to a selected number of artists in recognition of their contributions to the field. His plays include Everybody, An Octoroon and Appropriate.
This spring, the College of Fine Arts welcomes Leah Cox to the Dance division as an associate professor with tenure in the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin. With her history as a dancer with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company and her most recent roles as dean of the American Dance Festival and associate professor of Dance at Bard College, Cox brings a wealth of experience to her new position.
Don Quixote, the literary creation of seventeenth-century Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, is an indefatigable character with a big imagination, one wild enough to make giants out of windmills and castles out of roadside inns. He's now been re-imagined in El Paso-born playwright Octavio Solis’s new play, Quixote Nuevo, which opens at Houston’s Alley Theatre on January 17. Texas Monthly spoke with Octavis Solis and the play’s director, Texas Theatre and Dance Faculty member KJ Sanchez, about the prescient project.
Teatro Vivo has recently announced the 2020 Austin Latinx New Play Festival presented in collaboration with ScriptWorks, to run May 14-16, 2020. Alumni Jaymes Sanchez (The Cucuy Will Find You) and lily gonzales (trans(formada)) will both have thier works featured.
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.