On April 27, 2021, a small group of audience members found their seats, actors carried out their pre-show rituals and technicians prepped their starting cues as they waited for the curtains to rise on the UTNT (UT New Theatre) production of Community Garden. In this shared space, however, there would be no curtain or house lights to signify the start of the show. Masked audience members sat spaced out in folding chairs facing a lush garden rather than a stage. What connected them was a shared excitement at witnessing the magic of live theatre. It was this magic, complimented by the already supernatural elements of Renae Simone Jarrett’s script, that pushed the production team, cast and crew of Community Garden through a unique and sometimes tumultuous rehearsal process, bringing to fruition UT Theatre and Dance’s first in-person performance in over a year.
The UTeach Theatre program prides itself on fostering collaborative, creative and adaptive educators who are ready to influence the next generation of artists. With the landscape of educational theatre shifting before them in spring of 2020, the B.F.A. in Theatre Education graduates were armed with these skills, stepping into roles that were not only new to them but also new to the educational world. Not to be deterred, the UTeach Theatre class of 2020 celebrated a 100% job placement rate for students applying at Texas schools, spreading their knowledge to elementary, middle and high schools across the state, with some graduates branching out to campuses across the country. Back in December, we caught up with UTeach Theatre alumni Miranda Perkins and Tori Husting following thier first semester of teaching, discussing their experiences navigating this new educational landscape and their advice for future teachers stepping into these roles.
An exploration of self, sibling relations and the line between reality and the imagined – We recently sat down with the masterminds behind the UTNT (UT New Theatre), Part Two production OCD. Playwright Hee-won Kim, director Mike Steele and co-environmental designers Ningmo Liu and Mingxiang Ya discuss the major components of the play as well as the challenges (and benefits) of creating a world that is at once virtual, performed and animated.