The 2017 Cohen New Works Festival was the largest, most ambitious festival yet, featuring 38 different creative works. It was also the first year in which we had every single department of the College of Fine Arts represented in our ranks. The Producers and the Executive Committee worked hard curating, developing, assisting, and cheering on the projects included in the 2017 festival since Spring of 2016.
In 2017, we also programmed more robust panels, feedback sessions, coffee chats, and a special dramaturgical space called The Outlet to give festival goers a behind the scenes look into the making of the works. Check out the record of the festival lineup below. Click the links below to see what made the 2017 festival unique!
*Gallery (in progress)
(Daria Miyeko Marinelli & Andrew Valdez)
105 is a post-apocalyptic trilogy* that follows siblings Jackson and Sybil across the country, into new societies, and onto the battlefield. Spanning radio play, immersive theatre, and dance, 105 offers an interactive theatrical experience exploring sacrifice and survival and ultimately asks who we become when faced with a broken world.
A Nervous Breakdown
A Nervous Breakdown examines healing in the context of serious illness. Framed as a ritual around the Hebrew concept of Tikkun Olam, or “world repair,” Breakdown blends documentary theatre with dance, exploring the human aspects of the physician-patient relationship in modern medical practice, and Americans’ relationship with mortality.
(Carleigh Newland, Tess Jackson, Kelsey Linberg)
Follow Amena, a young Syrian refugee, as she pursues her dreams in an unwelcoming world. Empowered by a love for astronomy and a strong sense of self, Amena refuses limitations. A story of strength and discovery, A Singularity also acts as an intergalactic exploration of home, place, and space.
1 hour 35 minutes
A-peeling acts as a journey that explores snapshots of what we think of as our most authentic selves as we maneuver through roles, labels, brands, and stereotypes that are often piled onto us. Through dance theater we capture the tensions between agency and socially constructed expectation.
45 minutes – 1 hour
WIN B.202 – April 10 @ 3:00pm, April 11 @ 7:00pm, April 13 @ 2:00pm
(Si Mon’ Emmett, D’Lonte Lawson, Conner Palmore)
antonia is a Chicana hip-hop adaptation of the Greek tragedy Antigone. This piece will incorporate four elements of hip-hop: DJing, MCs, break-dancing and graffiti art to tell the story of Antigone through the lens of a modern Chicana woman.
1 hour 40 minutes
At the Boundaries: an exploration of queer relationships and violence
(Mandy Rojas & Bex Orton)
Two queer women navigate their limits: finding the boundaries of healing and hurting. Will creating their own world protect them from outside threats? Following the performance: opportunities for a variety of creative responses around themes in the show with a team of facilitators.
1 hour 30 minutes
Bathtub Girls: a Punk Rock Musical
(Caroline Kinnamore & Tucker Martin)
When high school pressures are eclipsed by the harsh reality of living with their negligent, drunken mother, teen sisters Brooklyn and Lucy decide to take matters into their own hands. The question isn’t can the do it, but can they live with the guilt?
(Alison Reid, Liam Dolan-Henderson, & Invoke)
Bloodthirsty Fiends is a new vision of Beowulf, produced with puppets and original music by string quartet, Invoke. Come join us in the “Mead-Hall” to hear this gruesome tale of revenge, glory, and puppet monsters.
Bored with Strangers
(Sam Provenzano, Lauren Smith, & Christine Gwillim)
Bored with Strangers guides audiences across campus through an interactive performance encounter with dance, performance art, and music all inspired by the art of Nina Katchadourian’s, that invites us to look more closely at the world around us. The “tour” includes free admission to the Blanton where audiences can visit the new Nina Katchadouiran exhibition Curiouser.
1 hour 30 minutes
WIN Lobby -> Blanton
(Alex Heppelmann, William Glick, & Azalea Laredo)
When a hungry wolf eats a boy’s flock of sheep, the boy leaves home to seek justice, only to be pulled into a contest that will choose a new animal king. Cry Wolf is a children’s opera that uses Aesop’s Fables to show how storytelling affects our communities and leaders.
1 hour 15 minutes
(Adam L Sussman, Thom May, Katie Van Winkle)
An examination of neurodiversity through the lives of Arthur Miller’s son, Daniel, who was born with Down Syndrome and subsequently institutionalized, and Tennessee Williams’ sister, Rose, who was diagnosed as schizophrenic and later lobotomized. When society stigmatizes an individual, how should their family respond?
(Elise Peterson & Ansel Lowry)
Follow the emotional and physical journeys of two young women through a gang-run Austin, TX during the fallout of the apocalypse. How do the current social behaviors translate to a world without rules? And how do women maintain their own identities when their bodies no longer belong to them?
1 hour 30 minutes
El Camino de Hierro
(Cosme Damian Flores, Jr., Jose Figueroa, & Max Torrez)
When tragedy strikes, Blanca and her brother, Carlos, must flee their Guatemala home and make the journey to El Norte to reunite with their long-absent mother. Blanca and Carlos brave their dangerous, uncertain journey using their own inner strength and the goodness in others,
1 hour 30 minutes
Forces In Contrast
(Lacey Erb, Kate Ducey)
Forces in Contrast desires to lead us on a journey from dark to light. This interview and installation experiment aspires to spark a dialogue about issues of violence against women while reclaiming Waller Creek as a space for art and rejuvenation.
Garbage of Eden
(Abigail Vela, Isaac Iskra, & Miguel Tamez)
In a world ravaged by the products we consume every day, Garbage of Eden imagines what it might look like if we continue to turn a blind eye to pollution. Follow Sophie and enter The Garden to discover that our home is no longer sustainable without action.
Belmont Gate 5/6
(Margaret Jumonville & Michael Zapruder)
Golden is a cutting-edge chamber opera that combines acoustic and electronic sounds, powerful voices and evocative immersive elements to tell the true story of a family whose belief in a magical golden object is tragically destroyed by the forces of technology.
Hobo Salon (Homeward Bound)
(Kate Proietti, Lisa Donato, & Roni Chelben)
Through the use of a participatory video installation, The Hobo Salon invites a dialogue about the accelerated growth of Austin’s homeless population. The salon explores the complexities of class relations while moving often hidden narratives into the public sphere, creating a place for personal reflection, community discourse and haircuts.
Ongoing installation with 25 minute video and haircuts
Winship East Plaza outside, Waller Creek
Hollow is a performance installation that examines death, afterlife and catharsis. Personal collisions of traumatic loss during youth are unpackaged, distilled and abstracted to present an integrative palette of movement, music and media. Hollow invites viewers to make their own reflections within the work’s recurring loops.
Ongoing installation with special 45 minute performances
Intro to Being Here
(Drew Paryzer, Eric Vera, Kevin Sun & Christina Curlee)
Enter an alternate digital reality and make choices to bring a being from that world into ours. Then attend a class to meet this being in person and help it learn its place in our realm. Intro to Being Here is a transmedia experience integrating a video game with immersive performance.
Game: 20-30 minutes, Play: 45 minutes
It’s A Travesty! One Night With Jazzie Mercado!
(Travis Tate, Jordan Good and Briyana Clarel)
It’s a Travesty! is a glitter-bombed elegy for the distances working to separate us from ourselves. Using song and spell, the show confesses and confounds our personal histories, bodies and loves, not so we may leave those things behind, but so we may carry them with us and so we may call this healing.
(Kat Lozano & Madelyn Flabiano)
How far does the apple fall from the tree? In the age of fourth-wave feminism and Hillary Clinton, how do the women of today align with the women that came before them? Matrilineal explores lineage and the role it plays in the dissemination of knowledge through mother daughter relationships.
Open Mic Night!
(Jake Bardin, Daniel Abramson, & Jake Brinks)
In the age of handheld computers and widespread social networking, the best is always at our fingertips. In seconds, we can find the highest rated viral video on the planet, or the hit song that everyone is humming. Forego the best, and visit your local Open Mic Night!
Rage to Heal
(Briyana Clarel & Alaina Monts)
Rage to Heal is a devised piece moving through black rage toward black healing, collectively created by a community of singers, dancers, writers, actors and visionaries.
Scary/Freaky/Gross/Cold/Witch/Girl: Don’t Be Scared, Be Scary
A dance film/ongoing installation that delves into the female consciousness, exaggerating the methods women use to avoid objectification and protect themselves from coercion by members of the male population. Through comedic absurdity, dance, and spoken word, this film is an expression of female reality.
20 minutes – Ongoing film installation
WIN Second Level South Hallway
Wading through a field of hanging eggs forces the participant to experience space and displacement amidst the quiet chaos of shells waiting to be broken. The viewer is placed as an outsider amongst the rhythmic pattern of the eggs, which welcomes dialogue about the spaces we inhabit and affect.
WIN 2.120 (Dance Studio)
Si Se Puede (Yes We Can)
(Victoria Murillo & LB Flett)
Si Se Puede is inspired by the life of Mexican-American farmworkers in the United States during the late 1960s/early 1970s. The piece will feature movement and discussion based off of the lives of first and second generation Mexican Americans of the past, present and future.
Swadesh: One’s Own Country
Swadesh explores intercultural performance and “cross-culturalism.” Cross-culturalism occurs when individuals from one cultural background learn from another culture, and Swadesh creates a space for the audience to experience it. The piece speaks to themes of tradition, negotiation of identity, tragedy and one’s own “roots.”
The Art of Collaboration
(Alex J. Gendal, Kaiwen Fa, & Wyatt Laster)
The Art of Collaboration is an interactive creation installation that relies on everyone working together through technology. It explores how through the creation of sound, light and image, people can experience how what they achieve is only part of a greater created whole.
15 minutes – ongoing installation
The Festival Is Cock-A-Doodle-Now!
Meet Randolph: a gigantic, dazzling, dancing, roaming rooster puppet. He’s the biggest cock in the Cocks Not Glocks protest. Join Randolph and his hilarious farmer friend as they parade outside the Winship Drama Building in search of fellow protesters.
Outside WIN Entrance
The Gospel According to Jocelyn
(Jocelyn Chambers & Aaron Chávez)
The Gospel According to Jocelyn is a concept album that visualizes the creator’s personal experiences as a black woman in America. It incorporates original music, film, and poetry to detail the journey to self-identity, self-love and royalty. This album seeks to inspire more platforms for uninterrupted black female representation.
Bates Recital Hall
(all_caps) Co-presented with Fusebox Festival
“What will happen when my grandchildren find my Twitter?” Ponder this question and many more as we dance together at Austin’s most introspective concert. Using Dan Deacon’s “America” album, TITLE LOADING combines multi-media spectacle with an interactive concert to explore what it means to be “authentic” in the digital age.
(Claire Hardwick, Erik Martinez, & Sarah Farris)
A sketch comedy and improv collective showcase focusing on what it means to be “uncastable” both as an actor and as a person navigating everyday life. Seek to explore issues of body image and feeling like the “other” through the lens of comedy!
1 hour 15 minutes
Voices of Death Row
(Keith Allegretti, KT Shorb, & Bruno-Pierre Houle)
Voices of Death Row is a performance focusing on poems by death row inmates in Texas. Through music, movement and drama, five operatic art songs will be presented alongside visual projections, including images of inmate art. A collaboration between prisoners and university students, this project humanizes those who are dehumanized.
(Mandy Rojas & Ashton Murphy)
Set in a gynecologist’s office, Well Woman follows a person’s experiences with breast cancer, masculinity, feminine strength and family. Torn between her family lineage of big hair and bigger boobs while expressing her own identity, Well Woman queers what we inherit from the women in our families.
When New Orleans Becomes A Brown Sea
(James Parker, Travis Tate, & Adam Sussman)
A story revolving around Terrance and Judy, a black man and white woman who are stuck on a roof in a flooded neighborhood of New Orleans immediately after Katrina. In a town filled with ghosts of past injustices, they must find a way to escape the roof and find relief.
(Matthew Hernandez & Moriah Flagler)
Vocation, career, occupation, livelihood, Work. Work explores the humanity behind the labor that keeps the university operating. Through a devised experience, the audience explores the stories of maintenance and custodial employees working at UT. Inspired by audio-recorded interviews, Work offers untold insight into an integral piece of the community.
Zoom And Focus the Musical
(Lilly Stafford & Travis Nance)
Ruby and Dakota are struggling to maintain a long-distance relationship while pursuing their individual futures. Through biographical accounts, the cast takes the audience through a year in their lives. This manifestation of self-discovery incorporates music and dance to convey the constant push and pull we battle in every relationship.
1 hour 30 minutes