Ira Brind School of Theater Arts - Fall 2020
The Brind School is working with the fall season directors to create dynamic and groundbreaking theater experiences.
When considering how to restructure the fall season in response to COVID-19, the creative community asked themselves a series of questions and landed on the following set of goals and guidelines for performers and creative teams.
Continue to make vital, dynamic work while keeping all collaborators safe.
Find opportunities to maximize student learning, engagement and the development of their artistry, despite limitations.
Deconstruct and decolonize the ways in which we produce work—in particular, how current industry standards uphold the white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy. Use this moment to free ourselves from those oppressive standards by reimagining and redefining process, schedule, culture and protocol.
Invite new techniques and technologies into our processes to best share the work we do with others in a time of needful distance.
Test artistic hypotheses. Conduct research that will benefit us long after the pandemic limits our ability to produce live events.
A poignant and moving comedy that asks us to reflect on what we value most in life, our varying definitions of success, and the ways in which we identify and perceive ourselves and those around us, Ride The Cyclone challenges the meaning of “dying too young” and examines the legacy we leave behind after life.
In this auditory experience with accompanying visuals, audiences follow six dead high school choir students who tell their stories in a bid to win the favor of an elusive fortune telling machine, The Amazing Karnak, who promises to grant life to the most deserved storyteller.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond
Additional Material by Alan Schumuckler
Directed by Elana Mirella Mariani ’21 (Directing, Playwriting & Production)
Available Nov. 6–15, 2020 on Broadway on Demand
Tonight, Walt is going to read you a screenplay he wrote. It’s about his last days on earth. It’s about a city he’s going to build that’s going to change the world. And it’s about his brother. It’s about everyone who loves him so much, and it’s about how sad they’re going to be when he’s gone. Right? I mean, how can they live without him? How can anyone live without him?
By Lucas Hnath
Directed by Justin Rubenstein ’21 (Directing, Playwriting & Production)
A Livestream Play
Nov. 6–8, 7 p.m. EST
Who shot Andy Warhol? Superstar Candy Darling, a character based on a real-life member of Warhol’s studio known as The Factory, hosts a happening whodunit musical during which the famous—and infamous—creatures of The Factory all have motives to pull the trigger. But the pop art icon unravels an even bigger mystery as he confronts not only the prime suspects, but also his art and his own greatest creation: himself.
Book by Maggie Kate Coleman
Music by Anna K. Jacobs
Directed by James Bruenger ’21 (Directing, Playwriting & Production)
A web-based, interactive multimedia musical experience
Dec. 11 & 12, 8 p.m. EST
Dec. 13, 2 p.m. EST
By Adam Guettel
Directed by Billy Bustamante
A presentation of generative work
In his song cycle, Myths and Hymns, Guettel paints an emotional landscape of faith and yearning that embraces a boundless spectrum of ideology and spirituality. The lyrics were inspired by Greek mythology and a 19th Century Presbyterian hymnal; the musical vocabulary sweeps from romantic art song and rock to Latin, gospel and R&B. Myths and Hymns elucidates our fantastic desire to transcend earthly bounds, our intrinsic need to connect with something or someone greater in our restless search for enlightenment.
A senior project by Marisa Faller (Directing, Playwriting & Production)
Presentation Date TBD
Each year, I learn more and more about the importance of open, raw, and honest discussion and expression of intimate topics in our everyday lives. The C Word (consent) focuses on topics relating to consent in our society and personal lives through resources like recorded one-on-one Zoom interviews with organizations whose work focuses on consent and self-care; consent-specific educators; doulas; intimacy directors and coordinators; advocates for social justice; sex and relationship counselors/educators; or during our recorded group Zoom discussions.
I have collected artists and social justice advocates living in Pennsylvania, Vermont and Massachusetts—some of whom are UArts students or grads—to guide these important discussions and to submit personal creations, if they feel so inclined. Look out for the immortal and always-evolving Prezi link coming soon, and please feel free to submit a piece of art whenever you are able—in whatever visual form it may be—to be posted (and credited!) on the Prezi.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, concerns or submissions.
The Dust Bowl is one of the single most infamous periods in United States history. The cataclysmic combination of the greatest financial crisis the U.S. has ever experienced and a monumental environmental disaster made life hell on earth for those unlucky enough to live through it.
The play uses this tragic period as the setting for the coming-of-age story of a young girl who struggles with nearly crippling visions of a presence she often sees in the dust. Living in a once small (now virtually non-existent) settlement, the newly orphaned child is taken in by the ladies of a nondescript cathouse therein. To see this tragedy through the eyes of a child may shine a new light on the day-to-day mundanity that made up so many lives. The routines that went along with this episode in history were specific and taxing, yet many persevered.
By Rebecca Smith ’21 (Directing, Playwriting & Production)
Directed by Rebecca Wright
An online workshop
Presentation date TBD
A Senior Project by Monique Chambers
ETNAD serves to uplift and vigorously showcase the talents of a wide variety of artists including producers, vocalists, rappers and DJs. We strive to create a comfortable environment for young Black men and women so that they know that their voice matters and is always valid. Our number one goal is to help young artists mold their voice and feel confident enough to pursue their dreams. In the form of a website, ETNAD will spread exposure and share content. To start, the website will feature three to four artists and include things like solo and group interviews, photoshoots, bios for each artist, and spotlight “artists of the week.”
Coming January–February 2021
In this musical comedy, two philosophers leave the shelter of jail to take a walk through the landscape of American Capitalism. They promenade through wild parties, city streets, political theaters and picnic in a militarized war zone. Will they find the appearance of sin or hold on to their compassion? Fall through the looking glass with them and enjoy the view.
Book and Lyrics by María Irene Fornés
Music by Rev. Al Carmines
Directed by Amy Dugas Brown
A serialized musical experience
Available Dec. 11–18, 2020
Everything is TBD. EVERYTHING!
By Jason Robert Brown
Directed by Kelly Krieger
The Last Five Years is an emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the span of five years. The piece follows two separate timelines: one telling the story chronologically, the other in reverse. Through this unconventional storytelling structure, four actors will re-examine the musical through a personal lens, rebuilding and redefining Jamie, Cathy and their lost love.
A student-produced festival of student-written new plays
This upcoming festival theme is something we are calling “Outside In.” This concept means that we are starting the entire process with scenic impulses and initial designs from the scenic designer. From there, we are asking you, the playwrights, to create a story based on this curated scenic package we have provided; filling the set with the story, as opposed to the other way around.