Contact: Victoria Winkelman or Kami Duncan
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
(214) 768-3785 or (214) 768-2788

April 3, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Three innovative new plays by SMU theatre students will be introduced to Dallas audiences at New Visions, New Voices, the eighth annual playwriting festival sponsored by the Division of Theatre at SMU from April 17-21, 2002. Performances will be held at the Margo Jones Theatre in the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Parking is available at Hillcrest and Binkley and in the garage beneath the Meadows Museum. Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for seniors and $6 for students and SMU faculty and staff. For more information, please call the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787.

Produced each spring, New Visions, New Voices features three original full-length plays written and directed by seniors from the Division of Theatre at SMU's Meadows School of the Arts. This year's offerings include Eclipse, Lazarus and Doxology.

Eclipse, written by Jennifer Piehl and directed by Andy Bothwell, is a fable told by a grandmother to her grandson about a world in which everyone belongs to The Mold. Every member of The Mold is exactly like every other member, and anyone who steps outside the line is punished by The Leader. But three Souls -- the Sun Soul, Moon Soul and Earth Soul -- escape to discover life outside The Mold. Through the fable, the grandmother shows her grandson the beauties of human individuality and free choice. Eclipse will be performed Wednesday, April 17 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 20 at 8 p.m. (Adult sexual situations.)

Lazarus, written by Sarah Grimmer and directed by Chad Brinkman, is a play about forgiveness and the permanence of familial love. It revolves around a young woman who, having run as far as possible from her family roots and memories of a childhood tragedy, must return home and make peace with her living relatives, her dying mother and the ghost of her brother. Lazarus will be performed on Thursday, April 18 at 8 p.m. and on Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m. (Strong language.)

Doxology, written by Brian Weed and directed by Jennie Cleghorn, asks, what would you do if you could make miracles happen? The play focuses on a preacher in a small Alabama town whose annual revivals have generated an authentic miracle for four years in a row, resulting in ever-larger crowds and now media attention, and on a parishioner with advanced Parkinson's disease who is convinced that this year the preacher's miracle will be to cure him. The play explores the possibility of 21st century miracles, the nature and demands of faith, and the challenges and terrors of truth. Doxology will be performed on Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m. (Strong language.)

Alumni of previous years' festivals have gone on to study theatre at graduate schools around the country, have formed new theatre companies and have become writers, actors and directors in New York, Los Angeles and other major cities. In addition, award-winning playwrights such as Craig Lucas and Paula Vogel have come to Dallas specifically to work with the playwriting students in the Division of Theatre. Lucas, who wrote Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless and the screenplay for Longtime Companion, has said, "New Visions, New Voices…is introducing some of the most gifted young playwrights I have encountered. Someone must be doing something right…this confluence of marvelous new writers is something to celebrate."

The Margo Jones Theatre season at the Meadows School of the Arts is sponsored by The Dallas Morning News.