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College of Fine Arts

The 2013 Cohen New Works Festival Selection

The Cohen New Works Festival presented by the University Co-op

Committee-at-Large is proud to present

The 2013 Cohen New Works Festival Selection

The Cohen New Works Festival presented by the University Co-op is a week-long showcase of new work created by UT students held every other spring in various locations in and around the Winship Drama Building and the University of Texas campus. It is not just an event, but also a celebration of a continuously ongoing process–the creation of new work.

The Festival exists as an incubator for innovative and original forms of theatre, dance, music, film, design, visual art, architecture, and a wide variety of alternative mediums. It provides a nurturing environment and practical resources for the creation, development, production, and discussion of new and interdisciplinary work by students, faculty, guest artists, and scholars who come together in the spirit of collaboration and critical inquiry.

With the largest selection pool since the Festival’s commencement, the Committee-at-Large is proud to present the following 34 projects as part of the 2013 Festival. At the heart of new and developed work, project titles and synopses are subject to change between now and the Festival, which is slated to take place March 25-29, 2013.

对视——Eye Contact
Project Lead: Yao Chen
“Eye Contact” is a performance-based installation expressing the Westernization process of Chinese-American Women in the past 100 years. The installation will include: one scroll, two dolls and Yao Chen.

A Nostalgic Afternoon
Project Lead: Caleb Britton and Katy Wicker
“A Nostalgic Afternoon” is an installation of the largest blanket fort imaginable. Individuals have the opportunity to enter and write their story on the pages of a book. A blog url will be provided with the installation and participants are invited to visit the website the following week and read the compiled stories.

Almost Invincible
Project Lead: Jeff Kurihara
“Almost Invincible” is a new musical theater collaboration piece. The concept of the show is a live-action graphic novel musical about a hero and villain in a small American city. Animated video projection will be used to bring this graphic novel to life as scenic elements and comic cell art.

Amelia at the Edge
Project Leads: Lydia Nelson

July 1937. 15-year-old Betty Klenck receives and transcribes the final transmissions of Amelia Earhart. Villainous company Last Words & Sons & Sons sets out to capitalize on Betty’s lucrative find. Inspired by 1930s radio, this ensemble comedy, based on a true story, asks audiences to consider: what will be/come of your last words?

Project Lead: Bich Vu
Not Coke or saltine
Art-Vend dispenses donated art
From vending machine.
Art-Vend is a project founded by Jason Buchanan and Bich Vu featuring a vending machine that will dispense artwork donated by artists professional and amateur alike. All proceeds go towards The Cohen New Works Festival presented by the University Co-op.

Bio Light
Project Lead: Susan MacCorkle

“Bio Light” is an Educational Exhibit featuring costumes that faithfully mimic sea animals in the Great Barrier Reef. Led technology and cutting edge costume materials help create the illusion of luminescence. A video presentation will allow the viewer to see the costumes in action and learn more about the creatures and their environment.

Project Lead: William Davis, Andrew Hinderaker, William Anderson
“Colossal” is an epic theatrical event. Featuring a twenty-person ensemble, dancing, and a drum corps, its plot centers on a University of Texas football player, struggling to move forward in the wake of a catastrophic spinal injury. A play about love, ability, and extraordinary feats of strength, Colossal is both a celebration and critical examination of our nation’s most popular form of theater.

Dead Mall
Project Lead: Eva Suter and Brian Kettler
“Dead Mall” presents a haunted world of half-forgotten stores and wholly forgotten people. Ghost stories and shadows fill the spaces where Macy’s and Orange Julius used to be. For two teenage girls, a typical Saturday at the mall takes a dark turn. The muzak is on, but who is listening?

Déjà Vu
Project Lead: Sam Gorena
“Déjà Vu” is a theatrical spectacle that invites the audience into one of our most personal areas – our memory. This show reexamines how we look at memories by experimenting with the senses to discover how we really remember. Join us for a look into the complicated haze that is memory.

Good Girl/Bad Girl
Project Lead: Kaitlyn Aylward
“Good Girl/Bad Girl” investigates how culture, community, race, religion, age and language influence definitions of appropriate and inappropriate dress. Communities addressed are New Mexican women, Mexican women, Native American women, women who participate in sororities, and women who work on ranches and/or define themselves as Cowgirls. Research is presented through interviews and photographs.

Handcuffs are Not a Metaphor
Project Lead: Roni Chelnben 
People are taken from their homes. They wear pajamas. Suits. Who knows. They are told to seat on the floor; Do not move. Do not speak. Do not clap. A Work for local dancers and video from far away. A universe of oppression in a polygon.

Intercultural Performance: Emerging Artists from UT and Chung Ang University
Project Lead: Yvonne Ferrufino
During the 2013 Spring Break vacation, artists from UT and Chung Ang University will create a new work in Seoul, Korea. This lecture presentation will reveal the final dance theater piece of an intercultural collaboration between performing artists that explores the relationships between civilian Korean women and military men.

Project Lead: Rachel Gilbert
Ish is an auto-biographical solo performance exploring the story of how a young Jewish woman defined her own sense of identity through trauma and history. Ish explores the conscious and subconscious influence of identities we inherit  but don’t always know what to do with.

Light Instruments
Project Lead: Lincoln Davidson
“Light Instruments” aims to redefine the way people experience everyday spaces through the manipulation of light. The project consists of two independent systems that will alter everyday spaces, creating unique emotive experiences. One will be installed in the Payne Theatre Lobby and the second at the McCombs-UTC Fly Over Staircase.

Project Lead: Ryan Andrus
“LΛMBDΛ” is a scientific art installation accompanied with a high-energy, physically-electric, animated scientific performance. The event will investigate astronomical phenomena involving light in our universe. Topics include gravitational lensing, the aurora borealis, and the cosmic microwave background.

Perceiving Campus
Project Lead: Charlotte Friedley
What if that iconic view of the UT Tower was obscured? Would you invest the time to investigate your surrounding in more detail? This team of six architecture students plans on de-emphasizing the recognizable and bring awareness to the obscured. A series of obstructions and frames will be placed throughout the campus in an effort to bring about this mindset.

Project updates: This installation will no longer be showcased in its previous locations around the University of Texas campus. Instead, renderings and schematics can be viewed in the North Hall of Goldsmith Hall at the University of Texas. Refer to Festival website for talkback information and join this collaborative team in disucssing their process and methodology.

For all project updates and notifications, please refer to the Festival website, smartphone and mobile app, and signs around the information table in the F. Loren Winship Drama Building.

Slip River
Project Leads: Katie Bender, Abe Koogler & Gabrielle Reisman
Inspired by 19th century explorer narratives, “Slip River” recreates the experience of encountering new worlds, where rules shift and the unknown becomes visible, where peril–or possibility–are just around the river’s bend. Incorporating interactive dance, soundscapes, and text, “Slip River” leads audiences through the shimmering underbelly of UT’s Payne Theater.

Suspicious Dinner
Project Lead: Caleb Britton and Diana Small
Joey likes the Internet. The Internet likes Joey. Generated from a hearty diet of Facebook, home videos, androids, and the diaries of prehistoric creatures, Suspicious Dinner is the story of a man’s mad love affair with the world wide web.

Project Leads: Kate Kislingbury, Jacqueline Perrin, and Hallie Ward
Student organizations Dance Action and Classical Reinvention join forces to unify movement, live music, and photography in a guided performance through the Harry Ransom Center. Collaborating choreographers, dancers, and musicians will break the walls of traditional theater to bring their own invention into a haven of preservation and history.

Eye of the Beholder aka The Beauty Play
Project Lead: Paige Brown and Sarah A. Marcum
“The Beauty Play” looks at how a monolithic ideal of beauty impacts the day-to-day life of people within the U.S. from various races and cultures. Using direct quotes and memories from personally conducted interviews, the play asks the audience to question their own definitions of beauty.

The Farewell
Project Leads: Katie Folger and Olivia Reep
“The Farewell” is an experiential adventure navigating the themes of loss and grief through our memories, multimedia, audience interaction, Viewpoints based movement and honesty. How do we celebrate and honor the loved ones we have lost both individually and as a community?

The First Steps
Project Leads: Austin Dowling, Kate McCarn, and Morganne Mazeika 
“The First Steps” follows pairs of actors and dancers as they journey through their own pasts and relive the moments that shaped their lives, all-the-while focusing on the journey taken by each of these performers as they recall what it takes to finally say, and mean, the words: “I’m okay.”

The Lavender and the Letter
Project Lead: Rebecca Goldstein
Meet LETTER who speaks for SARAH, a student with a disability, at the University of Blah Blah Blah. Follow LETTER and SARAH to engage in a conversation surrounding how the ADA (Americans with Disabilities) Act, 39 years after its creation, still affects many in the world today.

The Only Living Boy in New York
Project Lead: Haley Elizabeth Anderson
A play about a hermitic synesthete named Henry who is dealing with the recent loss of his mother by closing himself off from his father and the city until a mysterious girl named Peter enters his cramped Brooklyn apartment and scrambles his perceptions of the world.

The Priceless Slave: A Workshop Production
Project Leads : Gary Jaffe, Lucy Junker, and J.M. Meyer
“The Priceless Slave” uncovers the true story of an antebellum slave-architect and his conflicted relationship with the woman who “borrowed” him to construct a lonely mansion in the wilderness of northern Louisiana. The projects’ aesthetics interweave theater and the visual arts to create a cutting-edge Southern Gothic comedy.

The Way You Move Your Body
Project Lead: Lucy Kerr
This dance/theatre piece exposes and dissolves disability prejudices. Abled and disabled dancers guide the audience from the world of outcasts to a world where difference is celebrated. It is an unsettling but eye-opening journey, leaving the audience cringing, laughing, crying, smiling, and questioning the way we conventionally perceive differently-abled people.

The Women of Juarez
Project Leads: Isaac Gomez and Bianca Sulaica
Before the war on drugs took precedence in our border country of Mexico, Ciudad Juarez had a bigger problem. Told through an ensemble of Latina women, The Women of Juarez explores the ways in which the stories of the women of Juarez – the missing and the lost; the murdered and the ones left behind – are honored and told in unconventional and untraditional ways.

Third Street
Project Lead: Briandaniel Oglesby and Ben Hardin
What dinosaurs are chasing you? “Third Street” will be a staged reading of a full-length play, developed with an ensemble, about Shane, a strange and awkward kid who escapes into fantasies of knighthood, and Otis, the bully pursued by imaginary dinosaurs. They live on Third Street, and play in dirty alleys.

Times Two: A Public Display of Love and Desire
Project Lead: Joey Gaona
Description Update: Originally created to be a male pas de deux, Times Two is a solo dance piece exploring loss and healing through internal and external reflection. With the aid of a mirror, this solo performance piece examines the way physical reflection displays the instant-present in conjunction with memories from the past provoked by personal reflection. It is through this physical and metaphorical mirror that true healing can be questioned and explored.

We Are StarStuff
Project Lead: Jessica Hutchinson and Sarah Saltwick
“We Are StarStuff” explores time and distance, observation and experimentation, magic, love and what we and the universe are really made of. Combining actual and imagined texts synthesized from our research of real personalities and powerful scientific concepts, creators and audience alike will experiment with the way we use stories and science to experience our world.

West Texas Beehive
Project Lead: Alexa Kelly
“West Texas Beehive”, a play in one act by Alexa Kelly, explores a romantic relationship tested by the rigors of life in a brothel as based on the classic childhood song “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee”.

Wild Abandon
Project Lead: Chelsea Pribble
“Wild Abandon” is a live intersect of original Blues and Folk Music in a casual concert format with varying styles of Technical Concert Dance. This interdisciplinary performance will wildly abandon all expectations.

Wonder and Wander
Project Lead: Bethany Lynn Corey
Designed for children under the age of two, this piece invites audience members to engage in play alongside the performers as they discover a series of objects. Responding to the audiences’ own sounds and movements, this piece will provide audiences a two-way experience of narrative, movement, sound and image.

The Committee-at-Large was comprised of approximately forty undergraduate and graduate student representatives within the University of Texas at Austin.

Inquiries about the Committee-at-Large and the Festival selection should be directed towards [email protected]

Application inquiries and selection criteria should be directed towards [email protected]

Festival and general inquiries should be directed towards [email protected]

Isaac Gomez, PR & Marketing Chair, 2013 Festival
Isaac Gomez (PR/Marketing Committee Chair) is a fourth-year undergraduate in the Department of Theatre and Dance with a focus on Acting and Dramaturgy. Recent performance and production experience includes: And Then Came Tango (Guapo), Ragtime (Co-Dramaturg - ZACH Theatre), Love's Labours Lost (Marcade/Asst. Dramaturg), Bacha Bazi (Asst. Dramaturg-UTNT), The Transition of Doodle Pequeno (Reno), Junie B. Jones: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (Jose - The Paramount Theatre), The Threepenny Opera (Nelly), and many others. In addition to his performance/production experience, Isaac is also the Senior Student Associate for Programming and Production at Texas Performing Arts, and a core member of the Student Intelligence Agency, an organization catered to programming and engagement for student employees at TPA. He is also the co-writer/director for The Women of Juarez, a new work as part of the 2013 Festival that addresses storytelling methodologies surrounding the testimonials of the women subjected to violence in Juarez.

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