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).