The 2013 Cohen New Works Festival SelectionThe Cohen New Works Festival presented by the University Co-op is a week-long showcase of new work created by UT students held every other spring in various locations in and around the Winship Drama Building and the University of Texas campus. It is not just an event, but also a celebration of a continuously ongoing process–the creation of new work.
The Festival exists as an incubator for innovative and original forms of theatre, dance, music, film, design, visual art, architecture, and a wide variety of alternative mediums. It provides a nurturing environment and practical resources for the creation, development, production, and discussion of new and interdisciplinary work by students, faculty, guest artists, and scholars who come together in the spirit of collaboration and critical inquiry.
With the largest selection pool since the Festival’s commencement, the Committee-at-Large is proud to present the following 34 projects as part of the 2013 Festival. At the heart of new and developed work, project titles and synopses are subject to change between now and the Festival, which is slated to take place March 25-30, 2013.
“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.
A Nostalgic Afternoon Project Lead: Caleb Britton
“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.
Almost Invincible Project Lead: Jeff Kurihara
“Almost Invincible” is a new musical theater 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.
Amelia Earhart at the Edge of the World Project Leads: Lydia Nelson & Courtney Sale
July 1937. 15-year-old Betty Klenck receives and transcribes the final transmissions of Amelia Earhart. Villainous company Last Words & Sons & Sons sets out to steal Betty’s lucrative notebook. Inspired by 1930s radio, this ensemble comedy, based on a true story, asks audiences to consider: what will be/come of your last words?
Art-Vend Project Lead: Bich Vu
Project Description to come!
Bio Light Project Lead: Susan MacCorkle
“Bio Light” is an Educational Installation featuring costumes that faithfully mimic sea animals in the Great Barrier Reef. Led technology and cutting edge costume materials help create the illusion of bioluminescence. A video presentation will allow the viewer to see the costumes in action and learn more about the creatures and their environment.
Colossal Project Lead: William Davis, Andrew Hinderaker, William Anderson
“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 critical examination of our nation’s most popular form of theater.
Dead Mall Project Lead: Eva Suter and Brian Kettler
“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 at the mall takes a dark turn. The muzak is on, but who is listening?
Déjà Vu Project Lead: Sam Gorena
“Déjà 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.
Good Girl/Bad Girl Project Lead: Kaitlyn Aylward
“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.
Handcuffs are Not a Metaphor Project Lead: Roni Chelben
People are taken from their homes. They wear pajamas. Suits. Who knows. They are told to seat 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 glass box.
Intercultural Performance: Emerging Artists from UT and Chung Ang University Project Lead: Yvonne Ferrufino
During the 2013 Spring Break vacation, artists from UT and Chung Ang University will create a new 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.
Ish Project Lead: Rachel Gilbert
“Ish” is a solo performance telling the story of a young Jewish woman (who is also Catholic) growing up in a non-Jewish place, and how the Holocaust became her personal history. Ish explores the conscious and subconscious influence of identity through the lenses of cultural studies, performance studies, and history.
Light Instruments Project Lead: Lincoln Davidson
“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.
LΛMBDΛ Project Lead: Ryan Andrus
“LΛMBDΛ” 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.
Perceiving Campus Project Lead: Charlotte Friedley
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.
Slip River Project Leads: Katie Bender, Abe Koogler & Gabrielle Reiseman
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, sounds capes, and text, “Slip River” leads audiences through the shimmering underbelly of UT’s Payne Theater.
“Suspicious Dinner” is a dance and theater spectacle collaboratively generated from a hearty diet of Facebook, home videos, androids, and the diaries of prehistoric creatures. Will she trade her spoon for an eight-day staycation? Will he ever achieve absolute fermentation? We serve you Dance! Profession! Beauty! Music! Passion! Suspicion! Dinner!
Synthesis Project Lead: Hallie Ward
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.
The Beauty Play Project Lead: Sarah A. Marcum
“The Beauty Play” looks at how a monolithic ideal of beauty impacts the day-to-day life of women 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.
The Farewell Project Leads: Olivia Reep & Katie Folger
“The Farewell” is an experiential and open piece that explores loss and grief through audience interaction, memories, multimedia, Viewpoints based movement and true storytelling. How do we deal with the loss of a loved one? How do we honor them? How do we remember them while moving on?
The First Steps Project Lead: Austin Dowling
“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.”
The LETTER Project Lead: Rebecca Goldstein
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.
The Only Living Boy in New York Project Lead: Haley Elizabeth Anderson
A play about a hermitic 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.
THE PRICELESS SLAVE: A Workshop Production Project Leads : J. M. Meyer, Gary Jaffe & Megan Rabuse
“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 projects’ aesthetics interweave theater and the visual arts to create a cutting-edge Southern Gothic comedy.
The Way You Move Your Body Project Lead: Lucy Kerr
This mixed-ability piece seeks to dissolve categories of normal and abnormal body-types. Interesting, unexpected, and unconventional movement will emerge from the unique rhythms and capabilities of differently-abled people in a celebration of difference that suspends the familiar and leads the audience to question conventional notions of aesthetics, dance, and disability.
The Women of Juarez Project Leads: Isaac Gomez and Bianca Sulaica
Before the war on drugs took precedence in our border country of Mexico, Ciudad Juarez had a bigger problem. Through an ensemble of Latina women, this devised collaborative work explores the ways in which we re-member and tell the stories of the missing, but not forgotten, women subjected to what is internationally labeled as a feminicide-the killings of the women of Juarez.
Third Street Project Lead: Briandaniel Oglesby
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 and 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.
Times Two: A Public Staging of Love and Desire Project Lead: Joey Gaona
“Times Two” is a collaborative dance piece that portrays the universal concepts of love and desire through male/male partnering. Along with an original score and spoken personal recollections, this piece will present dance and the arts as integral partners in civic dialogue.
We Are StarStuff Project Lead: Jessica Hutchinson
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. “We Are StarStuff” explores time and distance, light as a tool of observation and revelation, and humanity’s changing understanding of the beginnings (and endings) of the cosmos, and the elements that make it truly our home.
West Texas Beehive Project Lead: Alexa Kelly
“West Texas Beehive”, a play in one act by Alexa Kelly, explores a romantic relationship tested by the rigors of life in a brothel as based on the classic childhood song “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee”.
Wild Abandon Project Lead: Chelsea Pribble
“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.
Wonder and Wander Project Lead: Bethany Lynn Corey
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 audiences’ own sounds and movements, this piece will provide audiences a two-way experience of narrative, movement, sound and image.
Write Me One Project Lead: Patrick Shaw
Over the course of a month, our team of three will install ourselves in various hubs around the greater Austin area where we will set up camp and offer to write difficult communications on the behalf of strangers. We’ll conclude the project with public addresses on the state of Austin.
The Committee-at-Large was comprised of approximately forty undergraduate and graduate student representatives within the University of Texas at Austin.
Inquiries about the Committee-at-Large and the Festival selection should be directed towards firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application inquiries and selection criteria should be directed towards email@example.com.
Festival and general inquiries should be directed towards firstname.lastname@example.org.