Fall 2020: New Works – New Voices
The Department of Theatre Arts at Western Connecticut State University will present New Works – New Voices, a virtual production series dedicated to amplifying the voices of marginalized and underrepresented playwrights and composers. The virtual series promises to not only provide meaningful performance, design, and technical opportunities for our students, but also to lift up the voices of writers and composers from diverse communities and populations.
The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts is dedicated to the safety of its students, and is leading the way in online production innovation. Each show has been rehearsed, performed, and edited entirely online, and will be broadcast via livestream. Each production will have two showings, or “performances,” as part of a 10-day-long virtual production festival, spanning from Friday, Nov. 27, through Sunday, Dec. 6. New Works – New Voices is comprised of five new and unique pieces by some of the freshest voices in theatre. In addition to providing the pieces, the writers of each show worked directly with the cast and crew of each show, providing meaningful networking opportunities and insightful instruction to the students involved.
Opening and closing the virtual production festival is The Radium Girls: A Jaw-Dropping New Musical, written by Amanda D’Archangelis, Sami Horneff, and Lisa Mongillo. This production is directed by Tim Howard, and music directed by Dr. Justin P. Cowan. The Radium Girls: A Jaw-Dropping New Musical is a female-driven, horror-laced dark comedy inspired by the stories and spirits of the incredible young women who worked the factory line at the U.S. Radium Corporation in the 1920s. It’s a thrilling, chilling tale of three best friends, Olive, Helen and Frances, who discover the evil lurking under the glittering surface of the radium craze and ultimately give the patriarchy a taste of its own poison. With queer themes, and a roaring contemporary ’20s score, this piece is guaranteed to thrill and delight. The Radium Girls: A Jaw-Dropping New Musical will stream at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6.
The next production featured as part of New Works – New Voices is Dognap on Dekalb, written by Benjamin Colón, and directed by Sal Trapani. Dognap on Dekalb is a contemporary play set in the Bronx. The story follows Esther, a single mother grieving the loss of her son. Esther’s plan to spend the holidays alone with her dead son’s dog is ruined when the dog is stolen by Ariel, a down-on-his-luck pizza delivery guy. Esther must track Ariel down before he gifts the dog to his estranged daughter. Dognap on Dekalb will stream at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28, and at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2.
The Department of Theatre Arts is thrilled to welcome Kimille Howard, one of New York City’s top emerging directors, as guest director of In the Open, written by Mona Mansour. At an elite high school for high achievers, an incident happens, an escalation of violence, something that never ever happens there. We see some of the lead up to it, as well as some of the fallout, and we see different entry points and accountings of the same incident, making us wonder if one truth matters more, or if the truth underneath it all – that such a thing could happen here – is possibly more disturbing than the incident itself. In The Open will stream at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 30, and at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4.
Be More Funny, and Other Shorts Plays, written by Eric Lane, and directed by Pam McDaniel, is a collection of award-winning short plays that spans from comedic to dramatic, and covers a wide range of stories and emotions. This production is sure to provoke laughter, tears, reflection, and contemplation. Be More Funny, and Other Short Plays will stream at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29, and 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3.
The final production as part of New Works – New Voices is a devised piece titled Organizing in the Time of Covid-19 And Other Lessons Members of Generation Z Have Learned, Are Learning, Will Learn Before Everything is Said and Done… Or, Also Too, Maybe Not? This production is a collaboration between the cast and creative team, comprised of director Chris Bolan (Netflix’s A Secret Love), writer Keelay Gipson, and composer J. Oconer Navarro. This play with music provided students a unique opportunity to create a brand new topical piece designed specifically for a virtual medium. Inspired by the theatrical processes made famous by the Joint Stock Theatre Company, this new work will bear the fruits of rigorous research, improvisation, and discussion. Audiences can expect an experience entirely new and visceral. Organizing in the Time of Covid-19 And Other Lessons will stream at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1, and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5.
New Works – New Voices will stream from Friday, Nov. 27, through Sunday, Dec. 6. Tickets for each performance are $5. There also is a Season Flex Pass available. For $20, passholders will have access to one performance of all five shows, for the cost of four. Tickets and season flex passes are available at wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com.
Be sure to follow us on social media, as we will be highlighting the writers, composers, and directors of each play! Facebook: WCSU Department of Theatre Arts. Instagram: @wcsu_theatre
Just Our Luck, a Collection of Virtual, Student-Directed One-Act Plays
in collaboration with New Circle Theatre Company
Wednesday, Dec. 9th at 8:00 PM EST
Join us for a night of virtual entertainment! Seven student directors have mounted seven unique One Act plays, written by a collection of dynamic women+ playwrights, in collaboration with the esteemed New Circle Theatre Company. Tickets are free, with a suggested donation to the WCSU Department of Theatre Arts!
The one acts being presented as part of Just Our Luck include:
Down by the River by Jannie Wolff, directed by Tony Harkin
Kindnesses by Lori Goodman, directed by Chelsea Weaver
Relatable by Cate Allen, directed by Jordan Cowan
Sentences and Words by Cynthia L. Cooper, directed by Jamie Leo
The Accounting Department by Cindy Cooper, directed by Bailey Nickerson
Password by Cindy Cooper, directed by Jared Hirsch
Walls Like Curtains by Emma Goldman Sherman, directed by Jenna Castonguay
This event is free with a suggested donation. Click here to reserve tickets!
WCSU 2020 Senior Showcase
Please join us in congratulating WCSU Department of Theatre’s graduating seniors. By clicking on the link or pictures below, you’ll be able to view our virtual Senior Showcase. This provided an opportunity to some of Broadway’s top agents and casting directors to see the talent and skill of our graduating seniors.
Directed by Tim Howard
Music Direction by Dr. Justin P. Cowan
For Tickets to WCSU Visual & Performing Arts events please visit Eventbrite
Box Office: 203-837-8732
Due to the university moving to a virtual campus, the box office is closed until further notice. For questions regarding upcoming events or tickets, please contact Eric Gomez, VPAC Events Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Directions to the School of Visual and Performing Arts:
The theatre entrance is located on Western’s Westside Campus
Click here for the Campus Map