2015 Festival Archive


  • After: A Post-Gay Vaudeville (Sponsered by Faggot Dolls™)
  • An Accumpulation of Glorious Knick-Knacks
  • Apocalypse Radio
  • Cielito Lindo
  • Chord
  • Clothing. Movement. Spirituality.
  • Emanation
  • Emma When You Need Her
  • Eye See…I Forget
  • I Am My Selfie
  • Last Call
  • Mad & a Goat
  • Memoirdia dell’Arte
  • nu.shui
  • Operation Istanbul
  • Our Cool Leader
  • Pirandello: A New Musical
  • Purification
  • Please Open Your Mouth
  • Road Trip
  • Rose Made Man
  • Shrines to Childhood
  • Silenced
  • Teen Girl FANtasies
  • Tell_____.
  • The Caregiving Project
  • The DJ is My Griot
  • The Fog Inside
  • The Missing Element
  • The Rainbow Connection
  • This Emotional Closet
  • TwentyEight
  • Welcome, Home


  • Henry Bishop
  • Life, Death, and All That Nonsense
  • Life, Love, and What I Lost: a song cycle
  • No More


After: A Post-Gay Vaudeville (Sponsored by Faggot Dolls™)

Project Leads:William Glick and E.L. Hohn
After: A Post-Gay Vaudeville (Sponsored by Faggot Dolls™) explores what it means to be a gay man in an imagined utopia with full marriage equality and zero homophobia. The piece investigates how gay men interact with one another and wrestles with gay body image and sexual type, the difficulty of creating a lasting same-sex relationship, and the power and status dynamics within the gay community.

An Accumpulation of Glorious Knick-Knacks

Project Leads: Cara Phipps and Eva Suter
An Accumpulation of Glorious Knick Knacks will be an exploration of cultural detritus through the lens of fairy and folk tales utilizing a devised process while drawing influence from Brothers Grimm, Shockedheaded Peter, and contemporary iconography, such as Slender Man.

Apocalypse Radio

Project Leads: Katie Van Winkle and Lydia Blaisdell
Get comfy for an immersive, retro-future radio broadcast. Subversives, convicts, and bears strictly forbidden.

Cielito Lindo

Project Leads: Stephany Cavazos and Andrea Stanfill Carrillo
Cielito Lindo is a bilingual (Spanish-English) play that focuses on 9-year-old Florencia (Sky) Valdez who is raised with her brother (Sebastian) by her two grandparents (Abuelo Effren & Abuela Dora).  Sky is struggling with bullies at her school who in turn make her question her identity and the kind of person she wants to become. With the help of her friend (Dylan) and her Abuelo’s advice she determines that family and friendship, love and respect, are the most important things in life.


Project Leads: Patrick Lord, Ryan Belock, Jared LeClaire, Matt Smith, Kate Ducey, Lacey Erb
“Chord” seeks to create an environment that promotes creative play utilizing multiple forms of media. Participants will be able to manipulate light and sound by interacting with multiple “chords” throughout the performance space.

Clothing. Movement. Spirituality. 

Project Leads: Kelly Ruiz
This interdisciplinary performance will shed new light on the world of Martial Arts by incorporating it with contemporary, modern and hip hop dance as well as international and traditional music from China, Thailand, and Korea. Through the movement styles of Kung Fu, Muay Thai, and Tae Kwon Do, the audience will get a taste of three different cultures and histories while discovering how different they really are. And, through the historical and modern clothing of these Martial Arts the audience will get a glimpse of the spirituality, function, and history that come with each. This performance will delve into the realm of these three vastly different fighting styles and cultures to open a dialogue with the audience that Martial Arts in itself is a form of artistic globalization. It is History. It is Culture. It is Spirituality. It is Physical. It is Performative. It is Art.


Project Leads: Mahalia Dinglasan
Emanation is a play about intimacy: Leira, a 19-20 year old female librarian discovers fresh semen on a library book while restocking at the end of the night. After reporting her findings to her boss, she discovers that this event is recursive. In her quest to find the culprit, Leira unintentionally discovers aspects of her own identity, resulting in a redefinition of the ‘coming’ of age story. As part of the 2015 Cohen New Works Festival, this play will be performed in the University of Texas at Austin Fine Arts Library.

Emma When You Need Her

Project Leads: Rudy Ramirez
Emma When You Need Her is a devised piece exploring the life of anarchist and feminist Emma Goldman. Using her stories and those of her fellow revolutionaries, we will create art and activism outside of the rehearsal room and bringing those experiences back into the devising process to create a piece about bringing down the system with words, rallies and dance parties. Ice cream and Pat Benatar are also involved.

Eye See…I Forget

Project Leads: Selina Rosales and Callie Hacker
Eye See…I Forget is an art installation that will have its guest to crawl into the brain of a person experiencing the seven stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  This art installation will grow awareness of the sixth leading cause of death in America and remind us how much we take for granted even the simplest of human task.

I Am My Selfie

Project Leads: Katy Wicker and Rocket Thrall
I Am My Selfie is an interactive installation that explores the cultural phenomenon of ‘selfie taking’ and its affect on self image.

Last Call

Project Leads: Rocket Thrall
Last Call is the variety show that’s all about promoting and parodying the 2015 New Works Festival! Nightly guests will include New Works artists participating in interviews, sketches and games.

Mad & a Goat

Project Leads: Diana Small
MAD & A GOAT is a two-women show about one woman who, to free herself from college debt, joins a Wyoming goat farm she inherits from her occult-leader birth parents. The Woman finds her fleshy body and her capital body to be joined in holy-moly matrimony and she’s forced to reckon with both as bodies intertwined, for better or for worse.

Memoirdia dell’Arte

Project Leads: Kenny Chilton, Whitney Davenport, Rebecca Walach

Truffaldino is dead.

Rather, he’s supposed to be.

As the audience pays their respects at his funeral, and his daughter, Beatrice, struggles to deliver a worthy eulogy, Truffaldino springs from his coffin in an effort to stay alive. When the contemporary world and the imaginary Commedia dell’Arte world clash during the funeral, Beatrice will find out what it will really take to lay Truffaldino to rest


Project Leads: Jun Shen
“Nu. Shui” is a site-specific dance piece, which explores the relationships between women and water. There will be a wonderful conversation and a powerful interaction between 24 female dancers and water, which is based on Maurice Ravel’ magnum opus Bolero.

Operation Istanbul

Project Leads: Patrick Shaw
A international spy adventure play about star-crossed global love.  While on vacation in Istanbul, Reals, CIA femme-fatale, seduces a handsome mysterious man named Asan, only to learn he is secret agent with a Kurdish nationalist organization. Their love displeases both their employers, forcing them to flee!  The play follows them over the next 15 years of their life as they search for normalcy in everywhere from Pennsylvania to Toronto to Istanbul.  Unfortunately, no matter what they do or where thy go, the global war on terror always seems to catch up with them.

Our Cool Leader

Project Leads: Yongmin Lee
Our Cool Leader is an audience participation event revealing the truth behind how North Korean propaganda functions. The focus is on the paradoxical character Kim Jung-un. This project includes both a bust sculpture installation and a dance performance featuring a North Korean defector. A UT student organization, Liberty in North Korea, will also host an awareness campaign in connection with this piece during the week of The Festival.

Pirandello: A New Musical

Project Leads: Joshua Streeter
Pirandello is an original musical that explores an aspect of the famous playwright Luigi Pirandello’s life.


Project Leads: Nicole Oglesby and Luke Linstead
Purification is a magical play featuring original folk music about a village governed by the church and enclosed within a large, ancient wall. In this world, a mother and daughter grapple with love, loss, and oppressive views of female sexuality.

Please Open Your Mouth

Project Leads: Joanna Garner and Katie Van Winkle
Répondez s’il vous plaît to an immersive, participatory theatrical experience of food and sex. Audience members compete to gain entrance to a clandestine culinary orgy where a charismatic host and a cadre of servers shape a series of wildly unexpected dinner courses.


Project Leads: Ryan Belock, Kristen Weller
RE/CONNECT is an interdisciplinary performance about how humans relate in a digital age. A monumental tablet swipes through layers of music, movement, Wearable technology, and projected media to depict stories of relationships and how we communicate. RE/CONNECT asks, “Where do we find intimacy in an increasingly connected world?”
Creative Team: Ryan Belock, Kristen Weller, Andrea Beckham, Ammon Taylor, Jenna Wright, Hallie Ward, Matt Smith, Victoria Bill, Kristian Wolf Piña

Road Trip

Project Leads: Charlotte York
Third year college student Hannah has been sleeping with her friend Peter for months when she finds out that she’s eight weeks pregnant. Finding that the closest abortion clinic is 750 miles away, Hannah, her roommate Bash, and Hannah’s conservative, childhood friend Judith embark on a road trip across the state of Texas.  Examining Hannah’s relationships, both with God and her friends, the play follows the women on their tense journey as beliefs are questioned, secrets come to light, and the three learn more about themselves than they ever thought possible.

Rose Made Man

Project Leads: Joshua Miller
The new opera Rose Made Man, a coming of age story of a trans man named Gabriel, is also a coming of gender story since Gabriel was assigned female at birth, but identifies as a boy. Born deaf and thus having never heard his gender clearly spoken by others, he lives in a relative bubble until age ten when he gains his hearing and feels the full force of how his identity unsettles society. The piece will feature a cast and chorus of 20 singers with a chamber orchestra performing music by Franklin Piland (MM Music Composition) and a libretto by Tegan McLeod (MFA Playwriting)

Shrines to Childhood

Project Leads: Briana Bower, Jenny Arffmann, Megan Nevels
This project is an experiential site-specific installation that explores how sharing stories in, around, and through ensemble created shrines to childhood helps us share, reflect on, and perhaps make meaning from our own childhood experiences. During the performance, the audience will both hear and share stories of childhood, and at the end of their journey, participants will have the opportunity to make their own small shrines to add to a large community shrine.


Project Leads: Tawny Garcia
Silenced is a journey through six distinct vignettes that illustrate different stages in ones life. These six dances are based on interviews done with people who are not in a place or space where their story is traditionally asked or heard.

Teen Girl FANtasies

Project Leads: Kimberly Belflower and Megan Tabaque
Teen Girl FANtasies is one part music video, one part ultimate fan letter, and one part virtual coming-of-age adventure. It follows six teenage girls, each an empress of her own online kingdom, on their quests to make their favorite band, Only Reason, understand their limitless love. The play investigates and celebrates the emotional and social exploration of adolescent girls in the virtual fan sphere, and seeks to break stereotypes that teenage girls are “annoying”, “naive”, and “don’t matter.”


Project Leads: Emily Aguilar Thomas
Creative Team: Emily Aguilar Thomas, Roberta Blackmer, Priya Gupta, Arati Warrier

Tell ____. is an interactive theatre performance for young audiences. Actor-facilitators engage in dialogue with the audience about physical boundaries and invite the audience to begin thinking about what our individual boundaries might be. Participants work to make sure that the characters they meet are comfortable and safe.

The Caregiving Project

Project Leads: Gia Marotta, Tamara Carroll
The Caregiving Project is an interactive solo performance that explores the issue of caregiving: what it is, how it operates in our relationships and shapes our lives, the private and public ways we make meaning through it, and the narratives we create to explain it to ourselves.

The DJ is My Griot

Project Leads: Jossina Mark
The Dj is my Griot is a dance theater piece that explores the idea that “we are , how we dance … Dance can be links to our past, when we dance we reveal who we are , where we’ve been , and where we can be … when we dance freely we discover the unconscious within ourselves.”(unknown). This exploration starts with the current and young generation , or what I like to call “generation now”. Generation now are creating historical moments that are shaping the cultural identity of American society. As they create history with their body movements they are unconsciously telling history of their ancestral past. Lead, guided and taught by the main character the Dj Griot they will discover the conscious understandings of their history.

The Fog Inside

Project Leads: Spring Snyder
Each fall, thousands of bright, ambitious students relocate to Austin to start their college career, and this transition affects everyone differently. Students need tools to navigate through failure, rejection, isolation, sleep deprivation, stress, anxiety and depression.According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one out of four people are affected by mental health, and usually by the age of 24.This project was born out of research around the perceptions of mental health on The University of Texas at Austin campus. Specific to University of Texas at Austin’s undergraduate population, The Fog Inside is a devised, interactive Theatre For Dialogue performance engaging audience members in conversations surrounding the topic of mental health.

The Missing Element

Project Leads: Danya Gorel, Maegan Wilson
The Missing Element is a collaborative production which will attempt to infuse the art of story telling and performance with education dance, original projections, automated lighting, original music composition, and of course, acting. The Missing Element uses the elements on the periodic table as representative motifs for characters in the story as inter-molecular bonds are created and destroyed in this distopian society. The unequal distribution of power and wealth in this world leads to a revolution against the Nobles (group 8) as the most reactive and extreme groups (1 & 2) lead the cause. In a nutshell, The Missing Element activates basic fundamental laws of chemistry in the context of an urban myth as we attempt to bring the periodic table to life, and life back into the elements that surround us all!

The Rainbow Connection

Project Leads: Martin Rodriguez and Andrew Valdez
The Rainbow Connection is a play about the importance of maintaining a bountiful amount of imagination and creativity. We follow a young man who has lost what we refer to as his “Rainbow Connection” or the connection to his imagination, due to a family tragedy. As he attempts to rekindle the memories of his lost loved one(s) we watch as both the audience and assemble aid him in restablishing his Rainbow Connection.This

Emotional Closet

Project Leads: Mercedes O’Bannion
This Emotional Closet is an immersive art installation that explores the relationships women have with their clothing, and the images they create for public consumption.


Project Leads: Tyler English-Beckwith
TwentyEight takes place in Settlement Forty, Texas, an all Black township, where 19 year-old Isaiah Willis is working on the first craft headed for the Liberian Space Station. The American government has offered the citizens of all Black townships the opportunity to start new lives on the LSS, but in actuality it is less of an offer, and more of a forced exodus. The citizens of Settlement Forty protest against the Liberian Space Station, and twenty-eight hours before take off is scheduled, a 14 year-old protestor is shot and killed by township enforcers. Isaiah, who’s brother Martin was murdered by a vigilante just a month before, is in complete opposition of the protest, and is hoping to leave all of his troubles for the LSS, until he meets the older sister of the murdered teenager, Najee. Isaiah and Najee make a quick love connection, but Najee is hoping to convince Isaiah to stay and fight against the enforcers, while Isaiah longs for the freedom and endlessness of outer space. With only twenty-eight hours to decide, the question is, “Who will survive in America?” TwentyEight is a play, based on the Malcolm X Grass Root report, Operation Ghetto Storm, that states in 2012 a black person was murdered by a police officer, or vigilante every 28 hours. 66% of the people killed were under the age of 31. Texas had the highest amount of extrajudicial killings with 29. It is greatly inspired by the Afro-futurism genre, and will incorporate the music of Kanye West.

Welcome, Home

Project Leads: Kelsey Oliver, Billie Secular, Zachary Khoo, and Anna Ingram
Welcome, Home re-experiences a 4 month expedition in the form of an interactive, living blog. Inspirited by a new dance exchange between Austin and Angers, France, this collection of vignettes exposes 4 students’ deepest epiphanies in their interwound journeys.

Henry Bishop

Project Leads: Patricia Bennett and Alexa Capareda
Henry Bishop is a 30-minute piece that tells the story of Henry Bishop, a lonely centaur who has the body of a sheep instead of a horse. Isolated from the satyrs, centaurs, and the world of men, Henry Bishop spends his days knitting, writing haikus, and tending to his flock of sheep until he meets the tree nymph Sylph, who takes him on a journey to see her home tree. The story of how Henry Bishop discovers himself is told through narrative movement devised by the ensemble.

Life, Death, and All That Nonsense

Project Leads: Savanna Shaffer
“Life, Death, and All That Nonsense” takes you on the journey of a young man who returns home to find his family had been murdered in his absence. Upon further investigation, with the aid of his childhood sweetheart, he discovers that the murders had been performed by a serial killer. He investigates the murders while conducting a relationship with a skeptical dandy intent on forcing him to battle with his reality. This show questions the epistemic position that experience gives us. Descartes says that we can know that our experience is our own apodictically and that is really the jumping off point for the exploration of these characters.

Life, Love, and What I Lost: a song cycle 

Project Leads: Natalie Patton and Lilly Stafford
Life, Love, and What I Lost is an original song cycle that explores the ups and downs of life as a twenty-something. Presented through a series of vignettes, this musical piece takes on these experiences one by one: the thrill of first love, the fear of the unforeseeable future, the loss of a loved one, and what it means to love something and let it go. Life, Love, and What I Lost is a colorful and emotional tribute to a generation of not-quite-adults just trying to figure it all out. #LifeLoveNWF.

No More

Project Leads: Morganne Mazeika
This project is a dance theater piece that aims to address the subject of domestic violence through the abstraction of dance, narratives utilizing speech and printed media articles, and a interactive composer/musician. It is a emotional and scholarly response to personal experience and to the recent media coverage of relationship abuse. We want to know more about it. Why isn’t it a bigger public issue? What is the history behind it? Who else has been affected? Does the media favor women in abusive relationships and ignore men in the same situations? Relationships don’t normally start from such a bad place, what makes it spiral out of control? What does the media have to say about it? Are there conflicting schools of thought? What needs to happen to to elicit a response from the audience? We are looking to push those boundaries to evoke a response from the audience and to say no more to domestic violence.