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Three world premieres set for ASU Herberger College MainStage Festival of New Work

Don Coyote opens the ASU Herberger College MainStage season Festival of New Work Oct. 24.

Photo by Tim Trumble.

October 15, 2008

Walk in the steps of a coyote, or human smuggler, listen as the nascent strains of jazz are born in a New Orleans honky-tonk, and meet a woman facing the possibility of her own dementia in ASU Herberger College MainStage season’s Festival of New Work Oct. 24 – Nov. 2.

The Festival of New Work is a highlight of ASU Herberger College School of Theatre and Film’s MainStage season, where master students, faculty and guest artists from across the nation premiere their projects. This year’s festival will include a full production of graduate student Daniel S. Frey’s drama Don Coyote, as well as two workshop productions.

Don Coyote is a gritty power struggle as seen through the lens of human smuggling across the Arizona-Mexico border.

“People always compete with each other for what they want,” Frey says. “Coyote is a study of the lengths they are willing to go to achieve their goals.” The production is directed by Richard Perez.

Workshops and staged readings give audiences an opportunity to experience a play in an early form. The process presents an “exquisite agony,” according to Gus Edwards, professor in the School of Theatre and Film, whose Buddy Bolden’s Blues will be staged.

“This is a work in progress, and by definition means the work is not perfect,” he says. “It is where you put the work in front of people and see what works and what does not.”

Don Coyote by Daniel S. Frey 
Oct. 24, 30 & Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 26, 2 p.m., Lyceum Theatre 
An American and a Mexican coyote run a successful human-smuggling business at the Arizona-Mexico border. But one day, a car accident, a brutal killing and a beautiful young woman named Rosa threaten to unravel the fabric of their partnership. Contains violence and strong language.

Secrets of Gardenias by Katie May 
Oct. 25, 29, 31, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 2, 2 p.m., workshop Studio 133*
Genetics, the power relationships within families, and fate are explored when a young scientist learns she may be the next to contract a terrible illness after her mother is diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease. Set in Florida during hurricane season, the play is the latest work from Katie May, the author of the 2007–08 season’s riveting play, Black Sheep Gospel.

Buddy Bolden’s Blues by Gus Edwards 
Oct. 25, 2 p.m.; Oct. 26, 30 & Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m., workshop Studio 133*
The life and times of the reputed “Father of Jazz” are deconstructed in this theatrical rendition. Set in New Orleans between 1894 and 1938, when America was experiencing intense social and musical changes, this dramatic work (with music) is presented as a work-in-progress. Directed by the author, Gus Edwards. Contains strong language.

*Studio 133 is located in the Nelson Fine Arts Center 133, 51 E. 10th St., ASU Tempe campus.


Lyceum Theatre, 901. S. Forest Mall, ASU Tempe campus 
Nelson Fine Arts Center, Studio 133, 51 E. 10th St., ASU Tempe campus

Oct. 24 - Nov. 2

Workshop productions are $7; full productions are $7–$22; Half-priced tickets on the First Friday of any MainStage season full production; ASU faculty and staff get two-for-one on all full-priced MainStage performances. For ticketing information, visit:

Public Contact
Herberger College box office, 480.965.6447
School of Theatre and Film. 480.965.5337
For maps and parking information, visit:

 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

Media Contact:
Laurie A. Trotta Valenti
ASU Herberger College 
School of Theatre and Film