New Visions, New Voices 2016 showcases student work, alumni involvement March 30-April 3

Meadows Theatre

New Visions, New Voices 2016 showcases student work, alumni involvement March 30-April 3

Rehearsal for New Visions, New Voices new play festival at SMU 2016

Rehearsal for the 2016 New Visions, New Voices Play Festival

Now in its 22nd season, the New Visions, New Voices play writing festival brings the raw stories, language and characters of graduating SMU Meadows theatre students to the stage.

The full-length plays written by students are presented as staged readings, without costumes or sets. The students are partnered with either an alumnus or a Meadows faculty member who directs the student’s play and provides mentorship. Each performance is followed up with a discussion between the audience, playwright, director and actors.

All performances will take place in the Greer Garson Theatre at the Owens Art Center from March 30 to April 3, 2016.

Students involved in the production learn an invaluable set of skills while seeing their own writing come to life. “One of the most important things New Visions has helped me develop is creative discipline. If I wish to be a creative professional, I can’t just make things when inspiration strikes. I need to show up every day, and be there waiting for inspiration when it finally decides to show up,” says Jeremy Arata, whose piece will be showcased on Sunday, April 3.

Here is this year’s dynamic line-up:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 – 8:00 p.m.Tough Love by Holly Settoon, Directed by Jacob Nice ’15

The play looks at the lives of three young people who meet in a teen detention center somewhere in the American heartland, all of whom are struggling to survive the boredom, emptiness and anarchy of their time in the system.

Thursday, March 31, 2016 – 8:00 p.m.: Filth by Isaac Young, Directed by Alia Tavakolian ’12

In a tiny Virginia town, a young woman struggles to keep the family farm afloat. But between the memories that haunt her and the introverted ways that make her unable to keep a job in town, she’s going to lose everything. That is, until a man needs her farm for his low-budget porn films – and offers to make her a star. Based on an unbelievable true story, the play is a tale of survival in the face of tragedy. Adult language and situations; not suitable for children and pre-teens.

Friday, April 1, 2016 – 8:00 p.m.: Finale by Dylan Guerra, Directed by Samantha Rios ’13

If they can survive the Dolphin Apocalypse, how bad can graduation be? When the seam of the universe opens, four best friends and one uninvited guest find themselves sucked into an alternate world on the eve of their college graduation. Secret loves are revealed, lies are uncovered, milkshakes are shaken and tickets to the Sunday Church Carnival are sold. Will they make it home in time to graduate, or will they become insignificant casualties in the bloody uprising by man’s favorite mammal? Adult language and substances.

Saturday, April 2, 2016 – 2:00 p.m.: Siren’s Song by Sasha Davis, Directed by Kristen Kelso ’14

Eager to escape the ghettos of Detroit, Wren studies to get into any college far away. When tragedy destroys her plans for a future with Thomas, she disappears into her grief for a decade, until awkward, funny Arthur drops into her life. The play considers the questions of lost love, new love, and self-love: which one is the hardest to accept?

Saturday, April 2, 2016 – 8:00 p.m.: Knew You by Laura Dupper, Directed by Jenna Hannum ’15

What is love? What makes it spark between one couple, and fade between another? In Knew You, James and Ellie ask the questions people have been asking for centuries. They fall in love as they interview friends and dissect classic romances for a school project. But as they fall out of love, will they find the answers they need or will love stay as elusive and enigmatic as ever?

Sunday, April 3, 2016 – 2:00 p.m.: Tiber by Jeremy Arata, Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Sara Romersberger

At a minor way-station in space, seven strangers find themselves gathered on the 25th anniversary of the Ceasefire. Old wounds and new griefs arise as former enemies and feuding family members confront one another. When the life and communication systems fail, everyone’s lives are threatened. The group will have to pull together – but can they forgive to survive?

Tickets are free for each showing. For more information, call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

March 30, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News|

Meadows Theatre showcases Brecht’s St. Joan of the Stockyards Feb. 24-28, 2016

This article was originally published Feb. 17, 2016.

St Joan 6

Photo by Kim Leeson

For its first play of 2016, Meadows Theatre will perform Bertolt Brecht’s St. Joan of the Stockyards. The play will run from Feb. 24-28 in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 for SMU staff, faculty and students.

> Buy tickets online for the Meadows Theatre production of St. Joan of the Stockyards

The play features an innocent heroine, Joan Dark, who battles Pierpont Mauler, the owner of a meat-packing plant. This engaging and slightly dark drama is laced with humor as the story grapples with the theme of freedom from material exploitation. Throughout the play, individuals seek justice in a society driven by profits.

St Joan 10

Photo by Kim Leeson

This reworking of the martyrdom of Joan of Arc has been described by The New York Times as “…a good workout for the sense and soul.”

Meadows School of the Arts Assistant Professor Blake Hackler is directing. In Dallas, he is a company member at the Undermain Theatre and has also appeared with the Trinity Shakespeare Festival and Dallas Theatre Center. Currently, he is the acting coach for Lisa Lampanelli, who is working on a one-woman show.

For more information, call 214-768-2787.

February 24, 2016|Calendar Highlights, For the Record, News|

Meadows Theatre presents Look Homeward, Angel Dec. 3-7, 2014

LHA 9344The Division of Theatre in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts mounts its final production of 2014 with Look Homeward, Angel, running Wednesday, Dec. 3 through Sunday, Dec. 5, in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Based on the autobiographical novel by Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel is an acclaimed 1957 adaptation by playwright Ketti Frings. Tracing the coming of age of Eugene Gant, the play is set in the small town of Altamont, North Carolina where Gant’s mother runs The Dixieland Boarding House.

The Meadows production is directed by Benard Cummings, professor of theatre in Meadows School of the Arts. Before returning to his alma mater to teach acting, Cummings performed in regional theaters across the country, as well as Off-Broadway and on episodic television. Additionally, Cummings has taught acting at SUNY-Purchase and Stella Adler/NYU, as well as the summer apprentice company at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Tickets for faculty, staff and students are $7 and can be purchased online. For more information, call 214-768-2787. A full cast list can be found below.

Look Homeward, Angel

Dec. 3-5, 2014

Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center, SMU

LHA 9477Crew

  • Director – Benard Cummings
  • Scenic Director – Russell Parkman
  • Costume Designer – Amanda MacArthur (M.F.A. ’16)
  • Lighting Designer – Janet Berka (M.F.A. ’15)
  • Sound Designer – Jason Biggs
  • Vocal Coach – Anne Shilling
  • Movement Coach – Sara Romersberger
  • Music Compositions – Derrick Horne (MFA M.M. Composition, ’16)
  • Music Advisor – Pamela E. Pagels (Music Librarian, SMU Central University Libraries)
  • Stage Manager – Alejandra Flores (B.F.A. ’16)

Cast

  • Eliza Gant – Tiana Johnson (M.F.A. ’16)
  • LHA 9215W.O. Gant – Timothy Paul Brown (M.F.A. ’16)
  • Ben Gant – Kamen Casey (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Eugene Gant – Robert George (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Helen Gant Barton – Caitlin Galloway (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Hugh Barton – Jesse Karmazin (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Luke Grant – Nick Miller (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Laura James – Dagny Sanson (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Will Pentland – George Colligan (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Dr. Maguire – Taylor Harris (M.F.A. ’16)
  • Mrs. Marie Pert – Jenna Richanne (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Jake Clatt – Blake Rhett Murray (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Mrs. Clatt – Kathleen Bennett (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Madam Elizabeth – Andrea Flowers (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Miss Florry Mangle – Katy Tye (B.F.A. ’15)
  • Mrs. Snowden – Madeleine Boudreaux (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Mr. Farrell – Ian Hill (B.F.A. ’16)
  • Miss Brown – Joanna Coogan (B.F.A. ’17)
  • Tarkinton – Matthew Talton (B.F.A. ’16)

Meadows Theatre main stage season continues with Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls through Oct. 26, 2014

SMU Meadows Theatre production of Caryl Churchill's 'Top Girls,' October 2014, photo by Kim Leeson

SMU Meadows Theatre presents Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls, directed by Professor of Theatre Rhonda Blair, through Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Photo credit: Kim Leeson

Meadows Theatre continues its 2014-15 season with a new production of Caryl Churchill’s 1982 reflection on what it means to be a successful woman, declared by arts writer Mark Ravenhill to be “the best play in 20 years.”

Top Girls, directed by Professor of Theatre Rhonda Blair, will run through Sunday, Oct. 26 in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as there will be no late seating.

> Buy tickets to the Meadows Theatre production of Top Girls online

Set in early-1980s Great Britain (and influenced by Margaret Thatcher’s celebration of individualistic achievement), the story focuses on Marlene, the newly promoted managing director of the Top Girls employment agency. A tough career woman who has buried her own empathy in pursuit of success, Marlene habitually exploits other women to get ahead – including her sister Joyce, who is charged with tending to their family responsibilities alone. Through their opposing points of view, Churchill critically examines a model of women’s achievement built on attributes traditionally regarded as “masculine” and questions whether it is possible for women to enjoy success in both career and family life.

The play features a famous opening sequence in which Marlene meets notable women from history and myth, including Pope Joan, Victorian traveler Isabella Bird, 13th-century Japanese courtesan-turned-Buddhist-nun Lady Nijo, Patient Griselda from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and Dull Gret, the harrower of hell from Flemish folklore. The play also explores the commonalities these historical women have with Marlene and her circle.

> Find behind-the-scenes photos from Top Girls at the SMU Meadows Theatre homepage

October 23, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News, Year of the Faculty|

Meadows Theatre season opens with Black Snow Oct. 1-5, 2014

Black Snow 2For its first main stage production of 2014-15, Meadows Theatre presents Black Snow by Mikhail Bulgakov, adapted by Keith Reddin.

Often called the ultimate backstage novel, Black Snow displays the autobiographical and satirical components of Bulgakov’s experience with the Moscow Art Theatre. Based on Bulgakov’s relationship with famed director and inventor of Method acting Constantin Stainslavsky, Black Snow brings the writer’s struggle against censorship and autocrats to life through black comedy.

The Meadows production is directed by Blake Hackler, professor of theatre in Meadows School of the Arts.  As an actor, Blake has appeared in productions on and Off-Broadway, as well as in regional theaters throughout the country. As a teacher, Hackler currently holds faculty positions at Yale University and SMU.

Black Snow will run in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center, from Wednesday, Oct. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 5. Tickets are $7 for faculty, staff and students. A full cast and crew list can be found below.

Black Snow
Oct. 1-5, 2014
Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center, SMU

Crew:Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 1.33.52 PM

  • Director – Blake Hackler
  • Scenic Designer – Darren Diggle (MFA ’16)
  • Costume Designer – Amanda Capshaw (MFA ’15)
  • Lighting Designer – Luther Frank (MFA ’15)
  • Sound Designer – Jason Biggs
  • Vocal Coach – Anne Schilling
  • Movement Coach – Sara Romersberger
  • Assistant Director – Jacob Lee Nice
  • Stage Manager – Jana Beeson (BFA ’14)

The Company:

  • Dylan Bare (BFA ’15)
  • Kieran Connolly*
  • Madeline Dockery-Fuhrmann (BFA ’15)
  • Jon Garrad (BFA ’15)
  • Danniel Gerchakov (BFA ’15)
  • Parker Gray (BFA ’16)
  • Dylan Guerra (BFA ’16)
  • Derek George (BFA ’15)
  • Taylor Harris (MFA ’16)
  • Justin Lemieux (MFA ’16)
  • Stephanie Machado (BFA ’15)
  • Brandon J. Murphy (MFA ’16)*
  • Seth Nelson (BFA ’16)
  • Kolby Tuck (BFA ’16)
  • Ally Van Deuren (BFA ’16)
  • Isaac Young (BFA ’16)

* Appears by special permission of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

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