Summer is officially underway and faculty and students of Texas Theatre and Dance have departed Winship to spread their knowledge and creativity far and wide, from Austin to Minnesota; Cincinnati to New York. In this two-part series, we take a look at what everyone is up to this summer.
In May, Christin Davis (Lecturer, Acting) portrayed the new mother “Adrienne” in Molly Smith Metzler’s Cry It Out, directed by Lily Wolff (B.A. 2011) at the ZACH Theatre. Cry It Out follows a woman named Jessie as she experiences newfound motherhood along with the other new mothers in her life. “A comedy with dark edges,” Cry It Out delves into the effects of class on parenthood as well as the unique nuances of maternal leave.
Next we have Daria Marinelli (MFA in Playwriting Candidate), who’s secured two creative writing residencies at SPACE on Ryder Farm and the New Harmony Project for this summer. Marinelli has also been invited to the Kennedy Center’s MFA Playwrights Workshop, where she’ll receive training in professional play development and mentorship from directors and dramaturgs from National New Play Network (NNPN) member theaters all the country.
KJ Sanchez (Associate Professor, Head of Directing) will be spending time writing plays bound for theaters all around the country. She’s set to write, prep and direct a new musical called Cincinnati King about the groundbreaking rise of music pioneer Syd Nathan and the artists he produced, which will premiere at Cincinnati Playhouse this November. Sanchez will also be writing a play about refugee resettlement in Minneapolis for The Guthrie as part of their “Level Nine” Initiative, a project intended to “create a theatre that grapples with the urgent questions of the day and inspires dialogue with the audience, to expand the diversity of the voices and styles onstage, and to engage with underserved community members.” In addition, Sanchez will be writing another piece called Grandma’s Empanadas for Milwaukee Rep, which will follow hosts of a cooking show as they recount the stories of their Latinx families. Finally she’ll be directing the world premiere of Octavio Solis’ Quixote Nuevo at Cal Shakes, on stage from June 13 – July 1.
In the meantime, Kirk Lynn (Associate Professor, Playwriting and Directing) will be accompanying the Rude Mechs theatre collective on their performance tour of Not Every Mountain, a performative meditation on change, permanence and our place in the natural. The cast and crew have completed their run at the Pivots Arts Festival in June and is set to head to the Guthrie Theater in July for additional performances. Not Every Mountain was premiered at Off Center, a multi-arts warehouse space in town, so it makes us that much happier to see this Austin-premiered show go on a tour of this magnitude.
Finally, Mason Rosenthal (MFA in Performance as Public Practice) and I-Chia Chiu (MFA in Playwriting Candidate) will present Aisle, a piece created for the 2018 Solow Festival in Philadelphia. Both candidates act as co-creators and performers in this nontraditional, guerrilla-style performance in select supermarkets across the “City of Brotherly Love.” Audience members will be able to travel throughout stores along with the characters and follow the story using their phones.
Congratulations to all these members of the Texas Theatre and Dance community on their achievements and ongoing projects this summer. We extend that same congratulations to any other department affiliates working hard over the break to hone their craft and express themselves through the creative process.
Photography Credits: Cry It Out (Featured: Lee Eddy as “Lina” and Jenny Lavery as “Jessie”) by Errich Petersen; Not Every Mountain by Bret Brookshire; Aisle by Paul Kruse; Featured Photo includes Christin Davis (photographed by David Heisler), KJ Sanchez, and Kirk Lynn