Charles Smith’s Objects in the Mirror is featured in today’s Weekend Edition by NPR (June 3rd, 2017). Listen at the link below:
Production Schedule and Mentor Bios
Featured Thesis Productions
Tickets for the Featured Productions are $5 general admission or FREE for OU Students (with valid student ID) through Arts for Ohio; available at the Templeton–Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium box office.
THE BIG FUCKIN’ GIANT
by Rachel Bykowski, directed by Allison Epperson
8:00 pm – April 12th, 15th, 20th & 21st (Forum Theater, RTV Building)
2:00 pm – April 15th (Forum Theater, RTV Building)
Alright, pussies! You ready? Do you have what it takes to be an Alpha? Think you can pin the Big Fuckin’ Giant? Push! Push yourself to the fucking brink. Until you feel the pain… The night before the NCAA wrestling conference, three fraternity brothers have to prove they are the alphas of the mat and Judy is just the girl to help them. Once you step onto the mat, you can never stop.
This is How You Got Me Naked
by Catherine Weingarten, directed by Ben Stockman
8:00 pm – April 13th, 14th, 19th & 22nd (Forum Theater, RTV Building)
2:00 pm – April 22nd (Forum Theater, RTV Building)
It’s the Dress to Get Laid Party: Jackie is dressed as a sexy trash-bag — aka Looking Good — and ready to hit on her sexy male dancer friend who is a junior so he will LOVE her so hard he can’t even feel his own body!! Is Jackie destined to be another tragic tale about the perils of hookup culture? Or will she be the lucky GF of a dancer who is hot? 😉
Note: There will be a talkback following the performance on Friday April 14th with Professor Thomas Vander Ven about hook-up culture and the sociology of alcohol on campus.
Staged readings are free and open to the public.
TATTOO ON YOUR ARM
by Inna Tsyrlin
1:00 pm, Thursday April 20th, Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall
A mysterious occurrence in the Amazon has left its mark on Ben. Abandoning his work as a fashion photographer, Ben feels compelled to help an ancient tribe save their land; their physical and spiritual home. Can Ben preserve the forest and its purity? To do so, he’ll have to choose between honoring his Peruvian fiancée’s connection to the forest or becoming entangled with a powerful financier.
by Natasha Smith, directed by Anne McAlexander
4:00 pm, Thursday April 20th, Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall
Tiana can’t wait to get away from home. When she lands at MIT, she’s got something to prove…but she’s not sure what, exactly. At least her professor thinks she’s got a bright future. And if he says so, then anything is possible, right?
by Philana Omorotionmwan, directed by Shelley Delaney
8:00 pm, Thursday April 20th, Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall
It’s twilight time.
And the small, winged things—
like spiders and roaches and fireflies—
have begun to stir and search for light.
Will Then-Self find it before she dies?
Or will Now-Self find other ways to survive?
Fireflies is an exploration of one girl’s longing and search for intimacy through the lives of insects.
by Katherine Varga
2:00 pm, Friday April 21st, Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall
Jessi never intended for her “coming out” audition video to go viral–she just wanted it to help her get the starring role in the school play. But her video has caused her Youtube channel subscriptions to go through the roof. There’s nothing wrong with giving her fans what they want, right? After all, everyone makes things up on the Internet.
by Trip Venturella
1:00 pm, Saturday April 22nd, Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall
What are artists responsible for in the face of violence? Shahid imagines the life of Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali as he struggles with two losses – that of his homeland, and that of his mother – among the myths and stories of a poietic Kashmir. How do you balance stories of your people, with the stories of your own?
by Cristina Luzarraga, directed by Daniel Winters
4:00 pm, Saturday April 22nd, Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall
It’s the year 2175, and life’s just dandy—or at least that’s the story’s at Millennialville, a historical museum dedicated to reenacting the life and times of the early 2000s. Thisbe and Oren work at Millennialvile. Thisbe and Oren are in love. Thisbe and Oren need to make a big decision: will one or both them go on Productolife? Also, did penguins have ears? For sake of their relationship, Thisbe really needs to know.
Guest Artists In Residence
Each April three nationally known guest artists are invited to be residence for the Seabury Quinn Jr Playwrights Festival to respond to MFA plays and work with the MFA playwrights.
Celise Kalke joined the staff of the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta in 2005 where, Director of New Projects, she manages New Play Development, the Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwright
Competition, the Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab and Alliance Theatre production dramaturgy. She has developed many different kinds of projects from straight plays to musicals to novel adaptations to shows for kids. Before moving to the Alliance she was the Director of the Literary Department at the Public Theater in New York. Celise currently serves as VP of Institutions for LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas).
Nambi Kelley has performed on regional stages across the country, internationally, including many shows at the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, and has been seen on several television shows, including Elementary, Person of Interest, Madam Secretary, Chicago PD, and will be guest starring on NBC’s Chicago Justice airing this spring. Also an accomplished playwright, Nambi has penned plays for Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Lincoln Center in New York, and internationally. Kelley is currently playwright in residence at the National Black Theatre in New York and is working on an adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Jazz to be produced at Baltimore’s Center Stage in May 2017. Her Native Son and short play Dead of Night: The Execution Of (commissioned by The New Black Fest) were both recently published by Sam French and are both slated for several productions across the country next season. www.nambikelley.com
Michael Legg is the Director of the Professional Training Company. Legg is in his tenth season at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where he’s directed world premieres of plays by A. Rey Pamatmat, Laura Jacqmin, Dan Dietz, Kyle John Schmidt, Marco Ramirez, Carmen Herlihy, Jennifer Haley, and Allison Moore, among others. Legg serves as a guest artist at several universities, including the the University of Idaho, Ohio University, and Texas Tech University. He also teaches for and works extensively with the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and serves as the Artistic Director of the WildWind Performance Lab in Texas, where he’s developed new plays by Brian Quijada, Eva Suter, Brian Bauman, Martyna Majok, Basil Kreimendahl, and Joshua Conkel, among others. Legg holds an M.F.A. in acting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association.
George Brant, a frequent guest artist in the OHIO MFA Playwriting Program, opened his play “Grounded” on Broadway to strong reviews this week. Read the Times review here. [Pictured above: George Brant on the right with MFA alum Bianca Sams, center, and Dennis Zacek in 2013.]
MFA alum Chantal Bilodeau is writing and curating a series for Howlround.com — an online journal focused on exploring where we are headed and what we are doing as dramatists — about Theater and climate change. Chantal has been leading the charge internationally in developing a new play cycle about climate change. See the Howlround essay series here: http://howlround.com/in-search-of-a-new-aesthetic. See more about Chantal’s Arctic Play Cycle here: http://thearcticcycle.org/.
OHIO MFA Playwriting alums Jackie Reingold (2003) and Laura Jacqmin (2007) recently worked on the writing staff for the soon to be released Netflix series, Grace and Frankie.
OHIO MFA Playwriting alums Jackie Reingold and Laura Jacqmin served on the writing staff for the premiere season of “Grace and Frankie”, a new Netflix series starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. The series debuts on May 8th, streaming on your nearest interweb device. Read a preview here: http://www.people.com/article/grace-and-frankie-netflix-jane-fonda-lily-tomlin
MFA Playwriting alum Cecilia Copeland is in the journal HowlRound today discussing her play “R Culture,” and how we as playwrights and theater practitioners should consider framing our approach to rape culture. From her essay:
This question of how to deal with rape on stage without creating more “rape culture” is paramount as we, as artists, attempt to express our experiences, create space for conversations, and build opportunities for change. – See more at: http://howlround.com/rape-culture-on-stage-or-as-subject
The 21st annual Seabury Quinn Jr MFA Playwrights Festival will be happening April 23rd to 25th, 2015. For specific show times and further information, please check our festival page where that information will be featured.
Ohio University MFA Playwriting Student Catherine Weingarten is in the national news this week spearheading a charge to improve the world-wide conversation about body positivity. She has teamed up with Endangered Bodies to ask Facebook to remove an emoji that one can choose to self-describe as “feeling fat.” The Washington Post, ABC News, People, Huffington Post and many others (links below) have interviewed her about the Change.org petition, “Fat is Not a Feeling.” From the petition:
Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the world right now. With 890 million users each day, it has the power to influence how we talk to each other about our bodies. I dream that one day the platform will actively encourage body positivity and self-esteem among its users, but for now, all I ask is that it stop endorsing self-destructive thoughts through seemingly harmless emojis.
Her national advocacy is not surprising given her approach to playwriting. In fact, such activism is part and parcel of her research and voice as a playwright. From Catherine’s artistic statement:
“Catherine’s plays delve into the societal pressure placed on young women to be both impossibly good looking as well as ridiculously intellectual, humble, kind as can be, but sexy… Media pressure is always present in Catherine’s work and the characters can barely function without checking in…”
Endangered Bodies: http://www.endangeredbodies.org/
Ira Gamerman, 2012 MFA Playwriting alum, has penned another provocative HowlRound piece. Read it. It may save your life in the current zombie apocalypse: http://howlround.com/bardcore-will-never-die-but-you-will. HowlRound is an important national journal focused on examining what role new live theater plays in our contemporary world; a previous HowlRound piece he wrote can be found here.
Gamerman also has won awards as a regular writer for The Truth, a popular audio-fiction-radio-play podcast. The Truth recently joined PRX’s Radiotopia, which is a new network featuring the best and most creative podcasts (99% Invisible, Theory Of Everything, Etc).