New Works lab presents 11 plays

Theater Emory will offer its Brave New Works lab, a week-long celebration of new plays focusing this year on pieces created under the auspices of the resident Southeast Playwrights Project. The seven-day, 11-play series immerses participants and audiences alike in an artistic process and creative fervor. Some of the city's finest actors and directors will collaborate with Emory students, faculty and staff to provide playwrights and the Atlanta community opportunities to experience new and developing work.

According to Vincent Murphy, artistic producing director and the driving force behind the project, the collaboration has proven successful in a number of ways. "The Brave New Works program at Emory has helped playwrights to develop numerous works. Atlantans have enjoyed the fruits of this process with The Trap at the Alliance, many things have happened since he died and here are the highlights... at Horizon, and now Lost in the Cosmos at Theatrical Outfit.

"Other Brave New Works plays have been produced in cities such as New York and Los Angeles, and even as far away as Ireland," Murphy continued. "This year, in combining forces with Emory's Creative Writing program and the Southeast Playwrights Project, the South's only service organization for playwrights, we pay special tribute to the writers from our own region, and welcome the Atlanta community along for the discoveries."

Rogue, the latest offering from Steve Murray, forces the audience to search for the truth hidden within the perspectives of three estranged family members. Frank Manley's Simple Gifts centers around a recent widow, a doubting priest, and the quiet, profound impact they have on each other. Clever language tricks, bizarre characters and faintly ridiculous humor run rampant through the Okefenokee Swamp-cum-Utopia in Jim Peck's Remedial Swamp. The Hedda Project, Gayle Austin's perspective on the Ibsen play, combines music, dance, drama and visual imagery to reinvent the way this classic text is understood. Hush, Child, Can't You Hear the Music? by Beverly Trader is a lyrical rhapsody on the power of storytelling to transcend cultural boundaries. In Valetta Anderson's Dorothy D, the great film star Dorothy Dandridge and a contemporary rap music producer learn from each other about their blackness, their families and their lives. Mysterious Connections, by Peter Hardy, is a dark journey into a tangled web of dreams, memories and sexuality. Cary Bynum explores family relations and the power of memory in the deep South on the mystical Bonaventure Street.

The Brave New Works lab also is featuring works by three other playwrights: Chappaquiddick, by Linda Sherbert; Our Lady of Perrysburg, by Sherry Paulsen; and House, Bridge, Fountain, Gate, by David Kranes.

The public also is invited to a reception on March 9, immediately following the reading of Kranes' new play House, Bridge, Fountain, Gate.

A complete listing of this week's offerings is in the calendar on page 8. For more information, call 727-0524.

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