January 27, 2003

Works to brave Schwartz Center


By Deb Hammacher

A special installment of Theater Emory’s (TE) Brave New Works, Jan. 27-Feb. 22, marks the inauguration of the theater laboratory in the new Donna and Marvin Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, which officially opens Feb. 1.

The theater lab will be home to Brave New Works, a biennial marathon of play development workshops sponsored by the Playwriting Center of Theater Emory, where Atlanta audiences have had the opportunity to hear scripts and screenplays in the process of development. Brave New Works II will bring together a national ensemble of actors, directors and playwrights, as well as Emory faculty, alumni and students, to explore and develop new theater work.

More than a dozen works will be premiered during the month-long event, which allows playwrights to hear their works in progress and brainstorm with other writers. More than 75 guest artists are involved in the project, and more than two dozen Emory alumni working professionally in theater will return to Emory to take part in Brave New Works II.

“We’re thrilled to christen the Schwartz Center’s theater lab with the most ambitious Brave New Works festival we’ve ever had,” said TE Artistic Director Vinnie Murphy. “The kind of high-voltage fireworks that result from putting together some of the country’s most talented theater artists with our adventurous liberal arts theater students creating new work is what a university-based company like Theater Emory is all about.”

Playwright Jon Lipsky returns to Emory for a reading of his new work, Book of Revelations, a series of interrelated short plays that chronicle the shape of a relationship over 50 years. Theater Emory previously produced Lipsky’s Dreaming With an AIDS Patient and Call of the Wild, and his script They All Want to Play Hamlet was written in collaboration with Murphy and fellow TE faculty member Tim McDonough.

Award-winning writer Elizabeth Wong will look at relationships when she directs her full-length monologue Dating and Mating in Modern Times, a tart and humorous look at modern-day dating rituals. Her play Kimchee & Chitlins, a satire that premiered at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, was developed in part at Theater Emory.

Poet and playwright Henry Israeli will present a staged reading of his new work, Arrangement for a Glass Guitar, a play set in eastern Europe in 1973. Thomas Bryant will head to 17th century Rome with a reading of his play Boca Della Verita (“The Mouth of Truth”), a dramatic look at the battle for the soul and survival of the Catholic Church during the Inquisition. At stake are the lives of Beatrice Cenci, Caravaggio and Galileo and the pursuit of social justice, art and science.

Janet Kenney’s The Mark of the Lord tells the story of a young woman confronted by an unbearable miracle. Jennie Snyder’s first full-length play, Historical Fiction, is the story of mothers and daughters, food and lovers, that explores the trajectory of an anorexic from sainthood to patienthood. Pamela Turner’s MAJIK! is a surreal story featuring Rosey, a ballerina living in a 19th century circus freak show.

Emory faculty and students also will offer new works. Murphy will present Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow, adapted from the poetry of Ted Hughes and featuring a single actor accompanied by a musical and video score. Murphy’s adaptation was inspired by the papers of the late British poet laureate that are held in Special Collections and archives.

Award-winning author and English/creative writing faculty member Joseph Skibell will debut 12,395 Words, a hyperrealistic depiction of an after-dinner evening between friends in Venice, Calif. Finally, students Jon Herzog, Lauren Gunderson, James Navarro and Brian Green all offer new works.

Performances will begin Jan. 27 and will be held through late February. All shows are free and open to the public; a full schedule is available at www.emory.edu/ARTS/calendar/index.html.

For more information, call 404-727-5050.






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