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College of Fine Arts

The Cohen New Works Festival presented by the Univeristy Co-op is a culmination of new plays, dance, multimedia, installations, and stie specific performances produced and performed by UT students.

  • About

    Performances: March 25 –March 29, 2013
    Sites in and around the F. Loren Winship Drama Building & The University of Texas at Austin Campus.
    The F. Loren Winship Drama Building (WIN) is located at the intersection of East 23rd Street and San Jacinto Boulevard. The physical address is 300 East 23rd Street, Austin, Texas 78712.

    Tickets: All events free and open to the public
    The Cohen New Works Festival is generously funded by the University Co-op and the Department of Theatre and Dance. It is through their generosity that all events and performances are free and open to the public.

  • Guest Artists

    avatar for Ellen Bartel

    Ellen Bartel

    Choreographer Austin, TX

    avatar for Michael Bobbitt

    Michael Bobbitt

    Producing Artistic Director, Adventure Theatre MTC
    Washington, DC

    avatar for Polly Carl

    Polly Carl

    Director, Center for the Theater Common
    Boston, MA

    avatar for Ken Cerniglia

    Ken Cerniglia

    New York, NY

    avatar for Madge Darlington

    Madge Darlington

    Co-Producing Artistic Director, Rude Mechs
    Austin, TX

    avatar for Dayna Hanson

    Dayna Hanson

    Choreographer, Performer, Film Maker, Musician
    Seattle, WA

    avatar for Sherry Kramer

    Sherry Kramer

    Bennington, VT

    avatar for Fiona Macbeth

    Fiona Macbeth

    Applied Theatre Teacher and Practitioner
    Exeter, England

    avatar for Victoria Petrovich

    Victoria Petrovich

    Production Designer, University of California at San Diego
    San Diego, CA

    avatar for Sarah Richardson

    Sarah Richardson

    Co-Producing Artistic Director, Rude Mechs
    Austin, TX

    avatar for Todd Rosenthal

    Todd Rosenthal

    Set Designer
    Austin, TX

    avatar for Lisa Thompson

    Lisa Thompson

    Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, Playwright
    Austin, TX

    avatar for Michael Patrick Thornton

    Michael Patrick Thornton

    Artistic Director, Gift Theatre
    Chicago, IL

    avatar for Ann Wrightson

    Ann Wrightson

    Lighting Designer
    New York, NY

  • Executive Committee

    The Executive Committee is comprised of 12 graduate and undergraduate students and the Producers who are responsible for the planning and implementation of the 2013 Festival.

    Faculty Producers: Rusty Cloyes, David Justin, and Kirk Lynn
    Assistant Producer: Sidney Monroe
    Production Manager: Michael Massey
    Technical Director: Nathan Graham
    Information Technology Manager: Taylor McCaslin
    Applications Committee Chair & Technical Writer: Victoria Goss
    PR & Marketing Committee Chair: Isaac Gomez
    PR & Marketing Committee Vice Chair: Rosalind Faires
    Guest Artist Committee Chair: Sarah Saltwick
    Guest Artist Committee Vice Chair: Kara Konop
    Events Committee Co-Chairs: Kate Griffiths & Meg Thompson
    Engaging Research Committee Chair: Cassidy Browning

  • Committee-at-Large

    Committee-at-Large Members:
    *Denotes a member of the Festival Selection Committee.

    Dana Arismendez*
    Jason Buchanan
    Scott Blackshire*
    Caleb Britton*
    Cassidy Browning*
    Eduardo Camacho*
    Charlotte Campbell*
    Yao Chen
    Rusty Cloyes*
    Joseph Dailey*
    Alex Dallas*
    Lincoln Davidson*
    Will Douglas*

    Mary Mackenzie Dunn*
    Yvonne Ferrufino
    Madilynn Garcia
    Isaac Gomez*
    Danya Gorel*
    Samuel Gorena*
    Victoria Goss*
    Nathan Graham*
    Kate Griffiths*
    Jessica Helton*
    Andrew Hinderaker
    Lucy Junker
    David Justin*

    Lucy Kerr
    Briran Kettler*
    Kate Kislingbury
    Kara Konop*
    Kirk Lynn*
    Susan MacCorkle
    Michael Massey*
    Taylor McCaslin*
    James McMaster*
    Sidney Monroe*
    Nicole Oglesby*
    Moses Park*
    Megan Rabuse

    Michael Rahmatoulin*
    Olivia Reep*
    Sarah Saltwick*
    Diana Small
    Victoria Solorio
    Alison Stoos*
    Bianca Sulaica*
    Eva Suter*
    Megan Thompson*
    Christina Vargas*
    Christina Wann*
    Kathryn Wicker*
  • Supercrew

    The Festival would not be possible without the students working behind the scenes. The Festival Super Crew can be seen scurrying around the University of Texas at Austin campus ensuring each venue is in tip-top shape for Festival patrons.

    Supercrew Members:
    Chase Contreras, Assistant Technical Director

    Morgan Alt
    Claire Andersen-Wyman
    Dana Arismendez
    Alyssa Arteaga
    Erica Ayala
    Hugo Ayala
    Victor Balladares
    Amberlynn Balli
    Mark Barnes
    Katie Baskerville
    Lauren Beausoleil
    Ross Bechtold
    Kaitlin Bell
    Bridgette Berlanga
    Maki Borden

    Baylie Braverman
    Jasmine Castanon
    Tyler Clark
    Michelle Cohen
    Cameron Davis
    Alana Deitch
    Ian Eisenberg
    Bejan Faramarzi
    Katie Folger
    Marissa Forsyth
    Estrella Gonzales
    Thumper Gosney
    Hollin Haley
    Connor Haley
    Halle Hardman
    Harrison Harvey

    Kelley Henry
    Michael Hettler
    Garrett Jackson
    Nate Jackson
    Cynthia Jimenez
    Shanaya Kapai
    Luke Linsteadt
    Audrey Long
    Megan Lyles
    Houston McRae
    Cherry Mendoza
    Lauren Murphey
    Micah Pearl
    Sara Roach

    Lindsey Robertson
    Selina Rosales
    Shaina Rubenstein
    Aisha San Roman
    David Snodgrass
    Alison Stoos
    Brenna Sturdivant
    Mackenzie Taylor
    Nolan Thomas
    Vanessa Vandenworm
    Lauren Vaughan
    Ursula Walker
    Raquel Watson
    Shanon Weaver
    Hope Wilton
    Melinda Wright
    Akisa Yokomizo

  • The Festival Works

    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
    “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, and 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 Leads: Roni Chelben, Alyson Dolan, Lucy Kerr, Yvonne Keyrouz, and Nicole Roerick
    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 glass box.

    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 Leads: 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 and open piece that explores loss and grief through audience interaction, memories, multimedia, Viewpoints based movement and true storytelling. How do we deal with the loss of a loved one? How do we honor them? How do we remember them while moving on?

    The First Steps
    Project Lead: Austin Dowling
    “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
    “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: Ben Hardin and Briandaniel Oglesby 
    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.

  • Filaments

    Our Committee-at-Large recommended projects for this series during Festival selection and then voted to select six projects for the 2013 Filament series.  The exciting lineup includes:

    Project Lead:Raymundo Delgadillo
    Cancun is a multimedia performance addressing American stereotypes of Mexico and the lack of knowledge about American involvement in the Mexican drug war.

    Creative Skin
    Project Lead: Courtney Mazeika and Victoria Mora
    Creative Skin provides an inside look at creative processes that choreographers navigate – focusing on the blazing flashes of inspiration, the struggles of insecurity, and the willingness to expose one’s vulnerabilities. Using dance, film, text, and music this project guides the audience through an experience that exposes a choreographer’s journey. 

    Danseur Drama
    Project Lead: Mark-Anthony Zuniga
    Danseur Drama is the story about Kavin, a man in his late twenties, who is convinced by friends to try ballet to help him get over his ex-boyfriend.  Unexpectedly, ballet will ultimately test friendships, define family, and promote healing.  The format is a play, but each scene will demonstrate a ballet term, which also represents the underlying theme.

    Believe You Me: Interpreting Media
    Project Lead: Daniel Berkowitz
    How do you see yourself? Believe You Me is an interactive installation which explores the relationship between humans and media through the use of video, live performance and an alien invasion. We invite you to log off, cancel your subscriptions and come as you are.

    Project Lead: Kenny Chilton
    What is safety? Can one ever really find true safety? The actors explore the theme of safety versus security by following the lives of citizens in the dystopian Safehouse. In an attempt to feel free, young Oliver pushes the boundaries of his underground, sheltered world.

    War Games
    Project Leads: Meg Greene and Lindsay Hearn
    War Games is a play for family audiences that explores the story of Jonah, a young boy whose father is deployed in Afghanistan. Jonah and his family work to navigate the harsh emotional realities of war and confront the scariest question of all.

  • Plugins

    The Cohen New Works Festival presented by the University is proud to announce Festival Plug-Ins. Introduced by the 2013 Engaging Research Committee, Festival Plug-Ins are crafted to be accessible spaces within the Festival for critical inquiry, collaborations across degrees, disciplines, the campus, and the wider Austin community, and reflection around the themes, practices, and projects of the Festival.

    By, For, and About Austin Hip Hop Generations

    This session will combine performances by local practitioners with discussion about Hip Hop aesthetics, performance, and practice. It will be facilitated by Executive Committee member Cassidy C Browning.
    When: 3/28 6:30pm – 8:30pm
    Where: WIN 1.134

    Ability in Performance
    This session will feature collaborators from projects within the Festival which directly engage representations of disabilities. It will be facilitated by Stephanie Rosen, a doctoral student in English at The University of Texas at Austin.
    When: 3/26 11:30am – 1:00pm
    Where: WIN 1.134

    Salon: Open Discussion About the Content and Practices of the Festival
    This group discussion will feature invited Guest Artists Michael Bobbitt, Ken Cerniglia, Dayna Hanson, Sherry Kramer, Sarah Richardson, and Ann Wrightson. It will be facilitated by Executive Committee members Cassidy C Browning and Sidney Monroe.
    When: 3/28 3:00 – 5:00pm
    Where: Oscar G. Brockett Theatre

    Tech Talk: A Workshop for Information Technology in the Arts
    This session will address the value and implications of information technology (IT) in arts organizations of all sizes and include an application of this knowledge to attendees’ projects and organizations. It will feature representatives from local arts organizations and be facilitated by Executive Committee members Taylor McCaslin and Victoria Goss.
    When: 3/27 3:00 – 4:30pm
    Where: WIN 2.112

  • Special Thanks

    The Festival would like to extend a very special thanks to:

    George Mitchell and The University Co-op
    Douglas Dempster, Dean of the College of Fine Arts
    Brant Pope, Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance
    The faculty and staff of the Department of Theatre and Dance
    Kathy Panoff, Rachel Durkin-Drga, David Stewart and the staff of Texas Performing Arts
    Allen Quigley, Texas Performing Arts, graphic design
    Monica Griffin, Caroline Crosier and Eduardo Camacho for additional assistance in graphic design at Texas Performing Arts
    Cassie Gholston, Marketing Director for the Department of Theatre and Dance
    Stephanie Niemeyer and The Blanton Museum of Art
    Jade Walker and the Visual Arts Center
    David Bjurstrom and Eduardo Camacho, Festival Photographer
    Brad Johnston, Fine Arts IT, CoFA
    Steven Hendrixson, Information Technology Coordinator, CoFA
    Ben Fest, Winship Building Manager
    Rose Mastrangelo, Associate Academic Advisor, Bridging Disciplines Program
    Michele Baylor, Director of Development and Alumni Relations
    Facilities Services, UT Operations
    Peter Schaack – Associate Director, Division at Rec Sports
    Danielle Sigler and the Harry Ransom Center
    Jackson School of Geosciences
    Suzan Zeder, co-founder and eternal friend for the Cohen New Works Festival
    Steven J. Dietz, Head of Playwrighting/Directing, the Department of Theatre and Dance

  • Press