Brave New Works 2016

Festival of new work presented by the Playwriting Center of Theater Emory

January 25 - February 13, 2016
Theater Lab, Schwartz Center for Performing Arts

The 2016 Brave New Works festival highlights the wealth of talent in Atlanta’s own backyard with new work and adaptations from world class artists who live and work in Atlanta. Professional playwrights, adaptors, composers, directors, and dramaturgs gather at Emory to work on new scripts with a combined company of student and professional actors. All events are free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. Reservations can be made by following the event links to the Arts at Emory calendar.

Fellowship Series
Four finalists for Emory's 2016-18 Playwriting Fellowship will present readings of their work with the Brave New Works company.

  • Selections from Borealis and other plays
    by Bennett Fisher
    Directed by Rachel Parish
    Monday, January 25 at 6:30 p.m.
    Bennett Fisher is a playwright, actor, director, dramaturg, and teacher. His work has been produced in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Boston, Kansas City, San Diego, Rochester, Aspen, Quincy, Taiwan, Greece, and Switzerland, as well as his native San Francisco Bay Area. Bennett is currently finishing his playwriting MFA at UC San Diego. The Brave New Works presentation includes work from his full-length plays Don’t Be Evil, Borealis, and Campo Maldito as well as his ten-minute play Monument.

  • Selections from The Rules and other works
    by Jiréh Breon Holder
    Directed by Brent Glenn
    Thursday, January 28 at 7 p.m.
    sign-up
    As a highly political writer, Jiréh Breon Holder’s plays range a plethora of topics and styles. With moments ranging from a same sex couple debating the amount of kink in their sex life to a sharecropper facing the Klu Klux Klan, this Brave New Works presentation spans subjects from the 1961 Freedom Rides to the 2007 Great Recession. It includes The Rules, 50:13, Too Heavy for Your Pocket, and Endurance (or ObamaDidItJustUseHope).


  • Selections from There's an Ocean in Nebraska and other works
    by Dana Lynn Formby
    Directed by Ariel Fristoe
    Thursday, February 4 at 7 p.m.
    sign-up
    Dana Lynn Formby is a blue-collar female playwright who tells stories about the disillusionment of the American Dream through the context of the lower economic classes of our society. Her plays have been produced, workshopped, and read by Pegasus, Chicago Dramatists, Mortar Theatre Company, Steep, PICT, Victory Gardens, WordBRIDGE, Florida Studio Theatre, The Alliance Theatre of Atlanta, The Kennedy Center, and New York Theatre Workshop. The Brave New Works presentation includes selections from There's an Ocean in Nebraska and American Beauty Shop as well as her ten-minute play, The Exorcist.

  • Selections from Mount Misery and other works
    by Andrew P. Saito
    Directed by Lisa Paulsen
    Thursday, February 11 at 7 p.m.
    sign-up
    Informed by his foundational training as a poet with June Jordan, his many experiences traveling and living all over the world, and growing up watching The Simpsons and South Park, Andrew Saito's plays examine incongruous historical 'coincidences,' cross-cultural relationships, and the dynamics between individuals and the state, often with sarcasm and humor.  The Brave New Works presentation includes excerpts from whisper fish, which takes place against the backdrop of the deportation of Japanese Peruvians from Lima during World War II, Mount Misery: A Comedy of Enhanced Interrogations, which explores the fact that Donald Rumsfeld's vacation home was once the plantation where teenage Frederick Douglass was a slave, and Stegosaurus (or) Our Golden Years, a satiric examination of human inaction in the face of ecological catastrophe.

The Younger*
by Ann Hughes (17C)
Directed by Jeremy Cohen
Friday, January 29 at 7 p.m.
sign-up

When Julia Agrippina meets the scholar and philosopher Seneca at the celebration of her marriage to a Roman power-broker, she becomes infatuated with him. Her pursuit of Seneca’s affections leads to his expulsion from the city and a desperate quest to bring him back regardless of the cost.

 *The Younger is the 2016 Fellow’s Project.  Created by inaugural Emory University Playwriting Fellow, Edith Freni, The Fellow’s Project identifies and mentors a promising Emory student playwright who has completed the first draft of a full-length play, culminating in a staged reading during Brave New Works.

Breathing Fire Moving Earth
by Minka Wiltz
Directed by Tom W. Jones II
Saturday, January 30 at 7 p.m.
sign-up

This second installment of Shaking the Wind, the story of a girl raised by an Atlanta street preacher, explores how Margie became Minka and defied her brainwashing to become her truest self.

Here to Love You Uncomfortable
Adapted by Jericho Brown and Snehal Desai
Directed by Snehal Desai
Sunday, January 31 at 2 p.m.
sign-up

This stage adaptation of Please, Jericho Brown’s American Book Award-winning collection of poetry, explores the intersections of love and violence, African American male identity and sexuality.

The Bonobo Project
The Bonobo Project, first conceived for Theater Emory’s Breaking Ground Series, brings together four new plays by Atlanta playwrights all inspired by common source material, “Sex at Dawn: the Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality,” by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha.

King James
Written and Directed by David Garrett
Friday, February 12 at 7 p.m.
sign-up

This screenplay adaptation of Woyzeck, Georg Buchner’s play about poverty, morality, madness, and violence, brings the action into present-day Atlanta. King James tells the story of a black cop buffeted by societal upheavals sparked by police brutality and race.

The Looking Glass
by Jim Grimsley
Directed by Joseph Megel
Saturday, February 13 at 7 p.m.
sign-up

The Looking Glass tells the story of the Widow Evangeline Norris, whose history is similar to the infamous 17th century figure Elizabeth Bathory, “The Blood Countess.” In an imagined future when the modern world has collapsed back into slavery and serfdom, Widow Norris is visited in prison by her dead husband, General Norris, while the grim reality and scope of her crimes are revealed as her accomplices are put on trial.