playwrightsMeadows Theatre’s New Visions, New Voices spring playwriting festival has undergone a major retooling this year – the Spring 2011 lineup will feature seven plays written by theatre students, as opposed to the usual three.

This year’s features are all written by seniors majoring in playwriting. The plays, which will be performed as staged readings (and directed by a variety of theatre professional ranging from Meadows professors to members of the Kitchen Dog Theater) are as follows:

  • Lilimarlene, written by Meredith Alloway ’11
  • The Rough Beast, written by Joel Heinrich ’11
  • Meltdown, written by Nathaniel French ’11
  • The Happy Place, written by Audrey Gab ’11
  • Tissu, written by Micah Figueroa ’11
  • Ready To Start, written by Jessica Andrewartha ’11
  • How To Be Black, written by Nicholas Cains ’11

The plays will be shown through Friday, March 11, with performances at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. There will be no performances on Monday, March 7. All performances will take place in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Ticket prices are $7 for SMU faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

A complete list of plays, casts and performances can be found after the jump.

(Clockwise from top center: playwriting majors Audrey Gab, Nathaniel French, Meredith Alloway, Nicholas Cains, Jessica Andrewartha, Joel Heinrich and Micah Figueroa.)

Synopses of the Staged Readings

LILIMARLENE: Tuesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. & Friday, March 4 at 8 p.m.
An American spy in 1941 Berlin winds up an SS administrator at Dachau. He falls in love with an inmate in the camp. Will he jeopardize his mission to rescue her?
Advisories: Adult language, situations and violence (not for children)
Playwright: Undergraduate Student Meredith Alloway
Director: Sara Romersberger, Associate Professor of Theatre

THE ROUGH BEAST: Wednesday, March 2 at 8 p.m. & Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m.
A prophet in the desert awaiting the apocalypse is provided another chance for the world when she is given two babies to raise. After raising both with her companion she must choose which one to sacrifice to save the world. Can she?
Advisory: Strong language
Playwright: Undergraduate Student Joel Heinrich
Guest Director: Cameron Cobb (Undermain and Kitchen Dog theaters)
Actor: Leslie Brott, Assistant Professor of Theatre

MELTDOWN: Thursday, March 3 at 8 p.m. & Saturday, March 5 at 2 p.m.
A little bit opera, a little bit gangster flick, a little bit Western, MELTDOWN pits the ideals of family, faith and love against blood, power and murder. Reactor City, a refuge for fugitives and gangsters run by the Big Boss, faces a power struggle from within.
Advisory: Strong language
Playwright: Undergraduate Student Nat French
Guest Director: Rene Moreno (award-winning, Dallas-based director)
Guest Actor: Michael Federico (Kitchen Dog Theater)

THE HAPPY PLACE: Sunday, March 6 at 2 p.m. & Thursday, March 10 at 8 p.m.
In a uniquely structured story, the playwright shows us the same couple in different possible lives and asks the audience to consider how each of us seeks and finds happiness, love and a contented life.
Playwright: Undergraduate Student Audrey Gab
Guest Director: Pam Myers-Morgan (Echo Theatre)
Guest Actor: Jen Spillane (Kitchen Dog Theater and Dallas Children’s Theatre)

TISSU: Tuesday, March 8 at 8 p.m.
When a small family circus is taken over in an attempt to turn it into a raunchy fantasy show, an aerial artist must fight his own demons to save the show! The situation grows ever more violent and confusing and the aerialist must give up more than he bargained for to accomplish his goal.
Advisory: Strong language, adult situations (not for children)
Playwright: Undergraduate Student Micah Figueroa
Director: Undergraduate Student Aneesha Kudtarkar
Actor: Bill Lengfelder, Professor of Theatre

READY TO START: Wednesday, March 9 at 8 p.m.
As college graduation quickly approaches, a senior pursuing a career in the indie music scene, a handsome athlete and a best friend must answer difficult questions about who they want to be, which may set them on a collision course with each other.
Advisory: Strong language
Playwright: Undergraduate Student Jessica Andrewartha
Director: Undergraduate Student Alia Tavakolian

HOW TO BE BLACK: Friday, March 11 at 8 p.m.
A frank play about identity, race and gender in which the main character sets off on a quest to discover “how to be black” and in the process discovers some interesting truths. Funny, painful and honest, this play examines “political correctness.”
Advisory: Strong language & adult situations
Playwright: Undergraduate Student Nick Cains
Director: Undergraduate Student Gus Deardoff