“I’m excited that we have an actor on the spectrum playing a character on the spectrum (written by a playwright on the spectrum),” Osmundsen said. “I’m also excited for audiences to see the really unique design elements. This will be more than a simple Zoom reading!” 

The third and final weekend showcases the workshop production “Alone: Edgar Allan Poe's Final Chapter, written by student Jesse Saywell and directed by professor Jeff McMahon.

“Alone” takes place in 1845, when Edgar Allan Poe is at the height of his fame. With tragedy stalking his every move, Poe's mind spirals into the depths of darkness from which his greatest tales of terror were birthed. The piece dives into the life, loves and death of one of history's great storytellers. 

I'm excited to share with audiences a new take on Edgar Allan Poe that uses his writing as a means of investigating the man himself, rather than the other way around,” Saywell said. “The performances are stunning, the visuals are extremely innovative, and the story comes to life through the screen. I can't wait for people to see the finished product.”

Theatre faculty in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre said it is important to address the difficulties that these groundbreaking creators have tackled. There is the issue of basic blocking, lack of audience reaction in real-time and even simply coordinating actors to know the direction of the scene their partner is in. The New Play Festival and the workshop process had allowed these playwrights, directors, cast and crew to overcome those obstacles and continue to hone their craft. 

“New play development is a vital part of our art form – it’s the time when we playwrights get to see the figments of our imagination come alive and see what they’re really made of,” Corwin said. “You always learn something new about yourself and your writing through the workshop process. It pushes me to experiment and make my work better and better. I don’t know where I would be as a playwright without it."


New Play Festival

7:30 p.m., Feb 20, 26, 27, March 5

2 p.m., Feb. 21, 28, March 6

Online via Vimeo

Tickets $10


Danielle Munoz

Media and Communications Coordinator, School of Film, Dance and Theatre