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Readings, panel set for festival of new plays

Emory Report | Jan. 17, 2014

Brave New Works, Emory's festival of new plays and playwriting, has released its schedule of readings and performances.

The biennial festival, presented by The Playwriting Center of Theater Emory, opens Jan. 30 and runs until Feb. 15. New play readings are performed and exploratory workshops held.

The Feb. 7 performance will be an adaptation of "Native Guard," U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of poetry. Adapted for the stage, this reading of "Native Guard" is produced in collaboration with Atlanta's Alliance Theater with support from the National Civil War Project, a multi-city, multi-year collaboration between four universities and five performing arts organizations to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

This year, three American playwrights who are candidates for the first Fellowship in Playwriting at Emory will present their works.  Following each presentation, these candidates will discuss their writing process as well as the creative work they plan to pursue during their two-year residency on campus.

"Several of our writers this year are bringing history to the stage in powerful, theatrical and highly personal ways," explains Lisa Paulsen, director of the Playwriting Center.

 Brave New Works brings together regional and national playwrights, adaptors, composers, and dramaturges-in-residence at Emory with student and professional actors.

All events will take place in the theater lab of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. All presentations are free and open to the public, but space is limited, so reservations are recommended.

The festival includes:

  • Jan. 30, 7 p.m.: Selections from "In Love and Warcraft" and other new work by Madhuri Shekar, candidate for Emory's 2014-2016 Fellowship in Playwriting.
  • Feb. 1, 7 p.m.: "The Bitch of Balaclava," a work in progress about Florence Nightingale's work during the Crimean War, written by Patricia Henritze and directed by Vincent Murphy.
  • Feb. 6, 7 p.m.: Selections from "A Work of Pure Fiction" and "Total Power Exchange," by Edith Freni, candidate for Emory's 2014-2016 Fellowship in Playwriting.
  • Feb. 7, 7 p.m.: U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey adapts her Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of poetry for the stage. This reading of "Native Guard" is produced in collaboration with the Alliance Theater with support from the National Civil War Project, a multi-city, multi-year collaboration to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.
  • Feb. 13, 7 p.m.: Selections from "An Elaborate Systems of Ropes and Pulleys" and other new work, by Jef J. Peterson, candidate for Emory's 2014-2016 Fellowship in Playwriting.
  • Feb. 15, 7 p.m.: "The Sapelo Project," curated by Josiah Watts and directed by Janice Akers, integrates music, movement, spoken word, acting, and video to celebrate Sapelo Island's culture and oral history.

Bravery and creativity

In conjunction with Brave New Works, Theater Emory presents "Element of Risk: Bringing Bravery into the Creative Process" on Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m.

This forum is a discussion in the areas of design, education, performance art, public health and more to discuss taking risks, breaking new ground, and redefining how one thinks about creative work.

Panelists include poet and assistant professor of creative writing and English Jericho Brown; Atlanta choreographer Blake Beckham; inventor and Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry Dennis Liotta; Atlanta-based performance artist Scott Turner Schofield; and Emory Provost Claire Sterk.

For reservations for Brave New Works performances, contact the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050. For reservations for the Feb. 8 panel, contact Emma Yarbrough at eyarbro@emory.edu or 404-712-9118.

For more information, as well as a complete list of presentations, times and locations, visit Theater Emory www.theater.emory.edu.