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New Works Festival Opens

New Works Festival Opens

: Detail of the poster design by Parker Wrenn.

New Works Festival Opens

: Rehearsal for the reading of "Duerme" by By Xochitl Portillo-Moody.. Photo by Mark Bocek.

New Works Festival Opens

: Rehearsal for the reading of "Duerme" by By Xochitl Portillo-Moody.. Photo by Mark Bocek.

New Works Festival Opens

: Rehearsal for the reading of "Duerme" by By Xochitl Portillo-Moody.. Photo by Mark Bocek.

New Works Festival Opens

: Rehearsal for the reading of "Duerme" by By Xochitl Portillo-Moody. Portillo-Moody, left and Stephanie Timm. Photo by Mark Bocek.

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For three weekends starting February 7, real theater fans can go behind the curtain and see how a dramatic work begins at the Winter New Works Festival.

This is how it’s done, new play development. The Cornish Winter New Works Festival is a unique opportunity to see the creation of new theater. Each year the theater department places an open call to seniors in the original works concentration to submit up to three scripts of any length. This year, 18 seniors participated. The end result is a festival comprising three professional readings that will take place on three consecutive weekends in the smaller theater of the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center. Working with professional directors and dramaturgs, these playwrights get two weeks to put up their brand new plays and hear them for the first time. This year’s edition of the Cornish Winter New Works series includes plays by Drew Combs (TH ‘14), Grace Carmack (TH ‘14) and Xochitl Portillo-Moody (TH ‘14).

The public gets to experience theater at its most basic, its most profound; Cornish students get real experience as writers and actors in the professional process of new work development, as Theater Chair Richard E.T. White explains it. The process they experience is no different than they will face in theaters around the country. How much staging is done varies from play to play, but White says that each is produced to “give enough to an audience to get them into the world of the play.”

The scripts are gathered the first 15 pages of each is read by a panel. All the readings are blind, no one knows who has written which script. From this basic group, several are selected as finalists. The finalists are read all the way through by the panel, and a final three are selected for development and assigned a professional director and dramaturg and the plays are cast from acting students. After a reading, each playwright is given a week to make revisions. Then it’s back to the group for two weeks of rehearsal. Then it’s time for the public reading.

All readings at The Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, The Studio (behind the main stage)

Book of Daniel
By Drew Combs
Directed by Wayne Rawley
Dramaturg, Elizabeth Heffron
February 7 & 8, 8 p.m.
Book of Daniel is a play about a young man who believes that hipsters are the so-called “zombie apocalypse.” Armed with his new-found ally, and the approval of the Lord, Daniel and Regina must now reconcile their budding friendship with the end of world.

Insufficient
By Grace Carmack
Directed by Kathleen Collins
Dramaturg, Christine Sumption
February 14 & 15, 8 p.m.
Insufficient is the story of two women and their budding relationship and the violent episode that brings them face-to-face with who they really are. Through memory and poetry, the story details Astrid and Peril’s struggle to try to make things right and justify their choices.

Duerme
By Xochitl Portillo-Moody
Directed by Richard E.T. White
Dramaturg, Stephanie Timm
February 21 & 22, 8 p.m.
Duerme is a play about a young Latina woman, escaping the death of her beloved father through her own imaginary world. The lines between reality, memory and her own subconscious become more confused as she decides whether to eat her grief or drown in it.

Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center
The Studio
201 Mercer Street Seattle, WA 98109
For more information.


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