The University of Texas at Austin - What Starts Here Changes The World
College of Fine Arts

2009 Festival

In just six days, the 2009 Festival highlighted 31 news works, including 15 new plays, 6 new dance works, 3 art installations, over 10 commissioned pieces of music and a host of trans-disciplinary events including multiple exhibitions at the Blanton Museum of Art and three outdoor site-specific works.


  • Faculty Producers: Denise V. Martel, Suzan L. Zeder, and David Justin
    Assistant Producer: Wendy A. Bable
    Production Manager: Megan Griffith
    Assistant Production Managers: Amber Loftis and Sarah White
    PR/Marketing Co-Chairs: Kelly Archer and Nichole Palmietto
    Guest Artist Chair: Talleri McRae
    Applications Co-Chairs: Nora King, Denise Saenz and Martin Zimmerman
    Events Chair: Matthew Satterfield
    Webmaster: Cody Williams
    Lighting Designer: Darren Levin
    Technical Director: Tramaine Berryhill
    Master Electrician: Yonatan Mendelsberg
    Audio Supervisor: Mike Malak
    Venue Manager Blanton: Amber Loftis

    Student & Faculty Creative Team:
    Jermaine Affonso, Wendy A. Bable, Lindsey Bailey, Andrea Beckham, Hailey Chaney, Jenny Connell, Rusty Cloyes, Michelle Dahlenburg, Nora Davidson, Kathryn Flowers, Lindsay Genshaft, Robby Gonzales, Megan Griffith, Jennifer Hartmann, Kelsey Hayenga, David Justin, Halena Kays, Matrex Kilgore, Nora King, Joey LePage, Darren Levin, Amber Loftis, Denise Martel, Derek Martinez, Talleri McRae, Yonatan Mendelsberg, Eugenia Montoya, Charissa Mureen, Nichole Palmietto, Alyssa Parker, Chelsea Roach, Denise Saenz, Matthew Satterfield, Kyle Schmidt, Andrew Segovia, Beth Sitorius, Michele Sleighel, Lissa Storey, Kristin Turner, Sarah White, Cody Williams, Martin Zimmerman, Suzan Zeder

    Festival Crew:
    Alycia Bowling, Thomas Britt, Whitney Cole, Victoria Constantino, Carly Entress, Shane Ford, Hillary Harrison, Blade Healey, Yamina Khouane, Allegra Lucchesi, Derek Martinez, Rachel Myhill, Christina Ramos, Zach Samuels, Ted Sheu, Nicholas Spain, Brianna Stiglets, Kimberley Wilson, Neila Wolff, Adrienne Wood

    Performances: March 30 – April 4 2009
    Sites in and around the Winship Drama Building

    Tickets: All events free and open to the public

    The 2009 Festival was presented by the University Co-op. It is through their generosity that all events and performances are free and open to the public.

  • The 2009 Festival featured 19 Guest Artists who were featured in focus groups entitled: “The Business of Show Business”, “Dance”, “Intellectual Property Law”, “Directing New Works”, “New Play Development”, and “Capturing the Movement: Photography.”

    Sarah Benson – Director
    is a professional director and dramaturg. She is the artistic director at Soho Repertory Theatre in New York City, and has directed new work for some of the leading experimental venues in the country, including NY Stage and Film and La MaMa.

    Richard Berentsen – Production Designer
    is a production designer/art director based in Los Angeles. His work includes television: the Grammy Awards, Talk Soup and Saturday Night Live; film; commercials: Nike, Chrysler and Yamaha; and music videos: Bril, John McLaughin, and Michael Bublé.

    Louis Bonham – Attorney
    received his undergraduate and law degrees at UT Austin (B.A. Plan II, 1983); JD, 1986), and practices law with the firm of Osha Liang,L.L.P. He is a frequent speaker on intellectual property law, and has been interviewed as a commentator by major media outlets such asBloombergAgency France Presse, the National Law Journal, andUSA Today.

    David Bjurstrom – Photographer
    renders work in graphite pencil, and is well-known nationally for his imaginative landscapes and highly detailed renderings of cowboys, horses, and the American West.

    David M. Conte – Manager/Producer
    is a theatre manager working on Broadway and the author of the text Theatre Management. He is an experienced manager of musicals on the road, and has worked in regional theatre and touring international ballet and opera companies, ranging from the Bolshoi Ballet to the road company of Annie.

    Gary Garrison – Playwright
    is a playwright and author, as well as the executive director for creative affairs of the Dramatists Guild of America. He teaches dramatic writing at Tisch School of the Arts in New York and is the author of several critically acclaimed books on playwriting.

    Wendy C. Goldberg – Director
    is the artistic director of the prestigious National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, and an award–wining director. She has directed at leading regional theatres including Actor’s Theatre of Louisville and Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.

    Marlina Gonzalez – Interdisciplinary Artist
    is the program director for Intermedia Arts, and has produced work such as film documentary, visual art, dance, spoken word, street theatre as well as politicized adaptation of existing and devised theatre.

    Amy Greenfield – Choreographer/Filmmaker
    has directed, produced, edited, and performed in more than thirty films, plus holographic moving sculpture; live multimedia and video installations. In 2007 she was honored by the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and her work was screened in the 2004 Athens pre–Olympics celebrations.

    Kelly Hargraves – Choreographer/Filmmaker
    is a Los Angeles based dance critic and producer of dance on film. As filmmaker she creates, choreographs and directs original work as well as produces the work of other artists. Titles have includedDance for Camera: Vol 1 & 2 (2003 & 2007); Cargo (2007).

    Linda Hartzell – Director
    is the artistic director of the internationally recognized Seattle Children’s Theatre. She has directed over 45 plays for SCT including 35 world premiers. Her work has also been seen in Australia and Japan.

    Sherry Kramer – Playwright
    is an award-wining playwright and master teacher. She is the head of the playwriting program at Bennington College in Vermont. Her work has been produced nationwide by major regional theatres including Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Wooly Mammoth and So Ho Rep.

    Megan Monaghan – Dramaturg/Director
    is the artistic program director of the Lark Play Center in New York City. As former literary manager of South Coast Rep and The Alliance Theatre, she has been a major force in new play development throughout the United States.

    Bruce Ostler – Literary Agent
    is a professional agent with Bret Adams Agency in New York City who represents theatre professionals (directors, designers, playwrights, actors) nationwide. Mr. Ostler has represented many of the leading established and emerging playwrights in the American theatre.

    Rubén Polendo – Director
    is the artistic director of Mitu, a theatre based in New York City. He has written and directed multiple productions performed and workshopped across the country and across the world. Mr. Polendo and his associates also teach Mitu’s Training Methodology called Whole Theatre at several institutions in the United States and abroad.

    Ed Raymond– IATSE
    is the president of IATSE Local 16 and is currently employed by the local as an assistant to the business agent with a primary focus on training and organizing.

    Billy Seago – Actor
    is a professional actor, director, master storyteller and Deaf culture consultant. He has acted in professional productions across the United States and Europe and is co–founder of the Deaf Youth Drama Program in Seattle.

    Mac Wellman – Playwright
    is a playwright and novelist whose work has been read and produced nationwide. He has received numerous awards, including multiple Obie awards, NEA, NYFA, Rockefeller, McKnight and Guggenheim Fellowships. He teaches playwriting at Brooklyn College.

  • The 100 Dresses Project

    The 100 Dresses Project is a community outreach project inspired by the children’s book The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes. The project includes an interactive workshop for young women and an art installation showcasing designs by women working and creating in Austin, Texas. The project celebrates the unique creative power that resides within the women of our community.

    Coordinated and curated by Heather Koslov and Ruthie Fisher

    101 Ways to…

    101 Ways to… is a high energy, physical theater extravaganza using the dicey world of women’s fashion magazines as its inspiration. An ensemble of some of the most remarkable and divers performer/writers, designers and an award-winning director come together to create a pop-culture circus of a show. Are we better in bed thanks to Cosmo? Did Glamour give us the perfect makeover? Do we feel like voyeuristic consumers reinforcing the ever-present male gaze? What can we really learn from those quizzes? What are the 10 things mean are REALLY thinking? Only one way to find out. Magazines: love them or hate them-you can’t avoid them in the grocery store aisle, LIVE ON STAGE.

    Created and directed by Halena Kays; Written and performed by Jenny Connell, Tim Longo, Carra Martinez, Steve Moulds and Sarah Myers

    The 7

    The 7 is an original, autobiographical work about the life of an inner city African-American woman. This woman’s journey from childhood to adulthood is revealed in a style reminiscent of a Choreopoem by way of the 7 train in New York City.

    Created and directed La Tasha Stephens


    Autopilot chronicles four relationships facing the same problem: “The course of true love never did run smooth”.

    Created by Anna Fugate and Ashley Hayes

    Chest Scale

    Look back through over one 150 years of pattern drafting for tailored menswear in this hanging installation. See why period vest drafts don’t work when drafted for our modern actors’ body.

    Designed by Sarah Lankenau, Assistant Designer Sarah Thornell, Curated by Jenna Penick, Documentarian Michael Howell

    Dream Sequence

    Dream Sequence is a performance created based on the dreams of the cast. We did not have a text to start with, and the process of creating the piece was fully improvisational. Be prepared to ride with us in a fantastic journey that will transfer you to the ultimate remote places of our imaginations where everything is possible!

    Text: improvised by performers
    Performance: conceived and directed by Fadi Skeiker

    The Edge of Peace

    The Edge of Peace is the third play in a trilogy that began with Zeder’s award-winning, play Mother Hicks. Set in 1945 in the final desperate months of World War II, this play explores the impact on a family and community when a local boy is declared MIA overseas and his younger brother refuses to believe what seems inevitable. This staged reading features Seattle actor Billy Seago as the Deaf postman, Tuc. In the visual poetry of American Sign Language, Tuc takes us on a journey of hope through a landscape of loss.

    Written by Suzan Zeder and Directed by Wendy Bable

    Fernando and the Killer Queen

    In a bloody fantasyland wracked by revolution, a Queen struggles to keep her government (and maintain her sense of pageantry). Audience Advisory: this play contains sexual situations, strong language, violence, songs, dances, drag, and tight tight tight green tights.

    Written by Kyle John Schmidt, Directed by Elizabeth C. Lay, Stage Managed by Peyton Smith


    Foodstuff explores the idea of identity through a ritual we all take part in every day: eating. How do our relationships with food inform who we are? Does what we choose to eat, and how we eat it, distinguish and illuminate us as individuals? The audience will witness a wide array of colors, sounds, smells, emotions and attitudes as they watch a five-course meal unfold.

    Written by Meghan Kennedy, Directed by Erin Meyer and Noel Gaulin, Dramaturg Kirk Lynn

    Footprints: A Musical Eco-Tale

    This staged reading of a musical for young audiences follows the story of a young girl named Sophie and her quest to save a forest. Along her journey, Sophie meets some ancient beings and draws on her connection with nature to communicate with them and work towards mutual understanding. This project also incorporates the principles of eco-theatre and sustainable theatre practice.

    Book by Lindsay Genshaft, Music and lyrics by Jennifer Hartmann with Lindsay Genshaft, Designed by Ariana Schwartz and Natalie Maynard, orchestrations, musical direction and arrangements by Lyn Koenning

    Funky Snowman

    A play/ballet for young audiences (and for the young at heart!) On her way to ballet class, little Fritzie brings a groovalicious snowman to life. When Fritzie is asked to leave class because she can’t get anything right, Funky Snowman helps her discover her own unique groove.

    Written by Wendy Bable, Directed by Brian C. Fahey, Choreographed by Molly Searcy, Original music by Michael Bowman


    Fusion is a project that uses technology to design and create an integrated multimedia art-work. This project will demonstrate the diverse ways technology can be used in productions and will showcase how these forms can be integrated into one cohesive performance piece.

    Created by Nathan Brittain, Zachary Dixon and Yonatan Mendelsberg, Stage Managed by Beth McCurdy, Video work done by Cesar Obregon, Acting by J-M Specht

    Harvest Mandala

    In the fall of 2008, a group of UT students came together to promote the harvest in its most aesthetic form. The First Annual Harvest Mandala and Food Drive brought together diverse student groups and individuals on campus for a community-based performance. A mandala of wholeness and balance was created that serves as a testament that together we can help lift the spirits of those who are marginalized and neglected by society.

    Conceived by the Living Colors Class, School of Architecture

    Looking At Dance: A Journey through The Blanton

    Looking At Dance: A Journey through the Blanton showcases divergent perspectives in dance and choreography. Mary A. Chase examines self-portraiture in Herstory, Charlotte Griffin captures the frenetic energy of Barefoot Negotiations on film, and Julie Nathanielsz directs a structured improvisation for The Meeting Point. Presented throughout the museum, the dances traverse an ever-growing definition of art, performance, and audience experience.

    Created by Mary A. Chase, Charlotte Grifin and Julie Nathanielsz

    Look, Listen, Look Again!

    Seven photographers chose their most meaningful or provocative photo. Seven musicians composed music inspired by that photograph. Seven choreographers created works inspired from the musical composition. The objective is to see if the end result is a reflection of the original art.

    Concept idea by J. Elissa Marshall and presented by Dance Action

    Made from Scratch

    The story follows the transformation of an innocent, playful relationship between two elementary school girls, Talia and Rachel, into a naïvely abusive friendship. Using their relationship and the effect of a lack of parental involvement in investigating the situation, the play explores the full responsibility of a parent and digs deep into the minds of young children.

    Written and directed by Avital Bisk

    The Mariner

    Characters and events inspired by “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” by The Decemberists. Everyday objects collide and combine to form this darkly imaginative world where two sea-faring enemies must strive to escape from inside the belly of a giant whale. As the men battle with impending death, a glimmer of hope appears on the horizon–escalating the mental warfare to a shocking conclusion.

    Written by Esme Lejeune and Directed by Glen Hall

    The Nomadic Dream Project

    An outdoor spectacle performance exploring the strange landscape between waking worlds and fathomed dreams. Stories told in movement, sound and image. A symphony for the senses. Join us for this experience and bring to life an unexpected world of nighttime folly.

    Created by Alison Heryer, Sonja Rainey, Emma Lawrence and The Nomadic Dream Collective

    On these four matters we cannot agree

    On these four matters we cannot agree… is a duet for male dancer and upright bass played by a female. Conceived as a suite of four dances, it immediately turns the physicality and initial gender associations of both dancing and playing the bass on their heads and explores this discourse through music, movement and, hopefully, a little intrigue.

    Conceived by Diana Mino; Co-created by Diana Mino, Matthew Bunker, Jordan Loveland and Zachary Dixon

    Phoenix Unforgiven

    Amanda has just succeeded her father, Lucas, as the principal of the school he started in the wake of their country’s civil war. Lucas started the New Hope School when Amanda was just an infant to provide an education and home for the orphans of the civil war, but also to cope with the murder of his wife– Amanda’s mother–at the hands of the military. But as the events that follow Lucas’ retirement lead Amanda to delve deeper and deeper into her family’s history, what she finds will cause her to question who she is, and the value of the school to which she has dedicated her life.

    Written by Martin Zimmerman and Directed by Kelly Howe

    The Poet and the Philosopher

    The Poet and the Philosopher uses costume and movement to tell the story of two people’s fight to discover their hero.

    Designed by Jennifer Madison

    Poof!! In Movement

    The idea behind Poof!! In Movement is to create a colorful performance piece using a combination of dancers and in-animate soft sculptural objects. Creating bulbous, whimsical characters out of fabric, Bailey collaborates with a variety of undergraduate junior and senior students to combine performance, costume, and installation. With the help of the dancers, the fabric sculpture pieces will perform a dance sequence, moving in and out of the space. The dancers will be disguised as sculptural pieces, via costuming. Poof!! In Movement will evoke humor and whimsy through a unique process and collaboration of media.

    Created and directed by Lindsey Bailey, Choreographed by Janna Rock

    Problem Box

    Bill is being held prisoner. He doesn’t know why, nor does he know who’s doing the imprisoning. He’s in a dynamic, problem solving environment with no respect for his boundaries: the Problem Box. Will he defeat the Box, or will the Box beat him?

    Written by Steve Moulds

    The Psyche Project

    Fast, funny and irreverent, The Psyche Project is an ensemble-generated retelling of the myth of Eros (Cupid) and Psyche, two star-crossed lovers who married in secret, ticked off the Goddess of Love, and went to hell and back to keep their marriage together. Come see what happens when Greek Myth goes modern, hell is a mall, and Eros upgrades from arrows to a semi-automatic.

    Written by Jenny Connell in collaboration with The Ensemble, Directed by Marie Brown, Designed by Kevin Beltz

    Resabios de Amargura or That Bitter Cabaret

    This campy mixture of song, comedy, and social critique follows the story of a Puerto Rican diva that loves her country, but feels attracted to the “outside”. She leaves for the more promising and glamorous U.S., but things don’t turn out quite as planned. Will she stay? Will she go back home? Is there a home to go back to?

    Solo-performance by Beliza Torres Narváez

    The Roaming Bassoonist

    Claude aspires to be the next in a long line of esteemed roaming musicians. When he approaches Sir Vincent, the greatest serenader of all time, he learns that sometimes even master minstrels require the help of an ensemble. This work is an exploration in new media that combines stop-motion animation and performance to bring the virtual beyond the screen, into the theatre.

    Written and directed by Ilana Marks, Set designed by Lizzie Bracken

    RTF Films

    A selection of short films from some of the most exciting film-makers of tomorrow from the Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin.

    The Shape of White

    The Shape of White is a multi-media, site-specific dance performance which explores the concept of deterioration through repetition to create a visual and physical metaphor for the experience of loss. Aerial dance and video projections ill the space in order to transform the everyday site into a performance space.

    Concept by Yvonne Boudreaux, Chih-Feng Chen and Andee Scott in collaboration with Clare Croft, Yonatan Mendelsberg, Natalie Maynard, Becca Miller, Ariana Schwartz, and Lih-Hwa Yu

    So/La Spaces: Bodies Journey into Rhythm

    So/La Spaces explores the intersections between light, sound, and female bodies in motion. It features two pieces, Angela Ahlgren’s taiko drum solo Hitori Janai (Not Alone) and Meg Brooker’s Noyes Rhythm choreography Not Adam’s Rib. Both pieces developed collaboratively with designers, including watercolor artist Linda DeHart.

    Created and performed by Angela Ahlgren and Meg Brooker

    The Tides of Aberdeen

    The Tides of Aberdeen follows the story of Jake and Abigail, two best friends who embark on breaking the world record for holding their breath under water. Presented in a workshop format in order to investigate and lovingly interrogate the play, we are working to further the script’s development toward a production ready draft.

    Written by Erin Phillips and Directed by Sarah Benson

    What Started Here Changed the World

    This collaborative piece examines violence in schools, particularly school shootings. The audience experiences the two worlds running concurrently: that of a few characters in an isolated setting during the crisis, and the world community linked by technology.

    Created by Neil Ames, Trang Bui, Jessica Evans, Kelsey Hayenga, Andrew Hlinsky, Priscilla Hill, and Matt Wasson

    Writing a Letter to Fidel

    Cuba keeps popping up in the news and in politics, but still little is known about the people and the essence of the country we are not allowed to visit. Writing a Letter to Fidel is a collection of oral history interviews that explores the experiences and feelings of those who either left Cuba or had family leave Cuba to start anew in the United States.

    Created by Amanda Cayo

  • Below are links to Press & Review Articles from the Austin Community News Outlets: