For fifteen years this spring, UTNT (UT New Theatre) has served as a springboard for emerging playwrights to explore their newest works on stage. On the outside, UTNT serves as a showcase for these new plays in their infancy, before many of them go on to premiere across the country. On the inside, the fruits of UTNT’s collaborative rehearsal process extend far beyond a single performance. In celebration of its fifteenth season, we are exploring UTNT’s history of fostering experimentation, creative collaboration and hands-on new play development, through the eyes of its playwriting alumni.
Now in its 15th season, UTNT (UT New Theatre) serves as an incubator for new work, presenting newly developed plays from playwrights of Texas Theatre and Dance and Michener Center for Writers. In addition to showcasing work by these young writers, UTNT also provides actors, designers and creatives from within and beyond the department with opportunities to collaborate in the development process. This year’s UTNT showcase is no different, with three new plays featuring a wide variety of talent from across the department, the university and Austin.
This semester’s UTNT (UT New Theatre) features two stellar new plays that revitalize classic Greek tragedies, adapting ancient stories into the modern world. M.F.A. in Playwriting candidate Jenny Krick has reimagined Euripides’ The Trojan Women through the mind of a contemporary female playwright, exploring themes of trauma and mental health, while M.F.A. candidate Nicholas Kaidoo transported Aeschylus’ The Oresteia into modern housing projects in New York City, bringing with it themes of justice, power and inheritance. Leading up to their virtual premieres, Kaidoo and Krick shared their process of adapting these centuries-old scripts into new plays, from their initial fascinations with the tragedies starting in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ classroom to growing their own unique worlds from the foundations the classic works of literature provide.