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Festival of New Work explores race, religion and family


Tifani Pust, Anne Hightower Wareing and Alison Tafel wrestle with family secrets in "Black Sheep Gospel," part of the ASU Herberger College MainStage Theatre Festival of New Work, Nov. 16–Dec. 2, 2007.


Photo by Tim Trumble.

November 05, 2007

Who
The ASU Herberger College School of Theatre and Film premieres three plays in its annual Festival of New Work. Designed to highlight promising new plays from ASU graduate student playwrights, this year’s performances explore themes of race, religion and ties that bind families together.

What
“Black Sheep Gospel” by Katie May, directed by Bill Partlan
Nov. 16, 20, 29 & Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m. in the Lyceum Theatre, 901 S. Forest Mall on the ASU Tempe campus. This play contains mature themes.

Explore the memory and perceptions of three sisters who reunite when their stepfather is about to die. Each sister – a B-movie actress who left home as a teen, a lesbian scientist fighting for her view of the world, and the youngest who adopted the religious philosophy of their stepfather – approaches the life and death of the patriarch from her own unique point of view. The women ultimately must confront their pasts and their own relationships to move forward.

“Jonny May's Soul Kitchen” by Wind Woods, directed by Patrick Demers
Nov. 17, 18, 30, 7:30 p.m. & Dec. 2, 2 p.m. in the Lyceum Theatre, 901 S. Forest Mall on the ASU Tempe campus.

During the controversial gentrification of northeast Portland, Jonny May struggles with the decision to sell her family restaurant or continue to nourish the community that raised her. At the same time her young nephew, freshly radicalized at college, chooses to fight the “powers that be” head on, with dire consequences for all.

“Triangle” (staged reading) by Laurie Brooks, directed by Gary Minyard.
Nov. 18, 2 p.m.; Nov. 20 & 30, 7:30 p.m. & Dec. 1, 2 p.m. in the Nelson Fine Arts Center room 133, located at the corner of 10th Street and Myrtle Avenue on the ASU Tempe campus.

This new work was commissioned by the School of Theatre and Film from award-winning playwright Laurie Brooks, who is known for her thoughtful plays for young audiences. Set against the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, Brooks uses imagery, movement and language to explore the immigrant experience and the turning point at which children become adults. Audiences attending the staged reading have the opportunity to see a play evolve into a full production in spring 2008. Suitable for youth and adults ages 10 and up. 

Where
“Black Sheep Gospel” and “Jonny May's Soul Kitchen” take place in the Lyceum Theatre, at 901 S. Forest Mall on the ASU Tempe campus. The staged readings of “Triangle” take place in the Nelson Fine Arts Center room 133, located at the corner of 10th Street and Myrtle Avenue on the ASU Tempe campus.

When
Nov. 16-Dec. 2

Cost
Tickets for the plays are $7-$22; tickets for the staged readings are $7 and available at: http://theatrefilm.asu.edu/calendar, or through the Herberger College box office 480.965.6447. Buy-one, get-one free tickets are available on the first Friday of any MainStage Theatre production.

Public Contact
Herberger College box office, 480.965.6447
School of Theatre and Film, 480.965.5337 
http://theatrefilm.asu.edu/calendar

The School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University provides a comprehensive range of courses in performance and directing; design and production; new work development; theatre and performance studies; film; and theatre for youth. Its Theatre for Youth program is nationally ranked in the top three and the dramatic writing/playwriting program is ranked 15th among public institutions by U.S.News & World Report. To learn more about the School of Theatre and Film, visit theatrefilm.asu.edu.

Media Contact:
Laurie A. Trotta Valenti
School of Theatre and Film
480.965.3381
laurie.trotta@asu.edu