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

March 27, 2003


DALLAS (SMU) -- Three innovative new plays by theatre students at SMU's Meadows School of the Arts will be introduced to Dallas audiences at New Visions, New Voices, the ninth annual playwriting festival sponsored by the school's Division of Theatre from April 9-13, 2003. 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 Meadows School Division of Theatre. This year's offerings include Finding Home, These Truths and Typhoid Mary.

Finding Home, written by Anna Agniel and directed by Andy Bothwell, is the story of an Army doctor who returns home to Illinois in 1970 after two tours of duty in Vietnam only to find that everyone and everything has changed, including himself. His wife has become independent; his son is protesting the war; his daughter talks to plants with her mind. Moreover, a strange neighbor seems to have taken the doctor's place, and the ghost of a dead lover appears in the living room. The play asks, "What happens to a man who survives a war? Where is 'home' when your family are strangers?" Finding Home will be performed Wednesday, April 9 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 12 at 2 p.m. (Strong language.)

These Truths, written by Jerrika Hinton and directed by Yorke Fryer, is a political fable about a dysfunctional family whose daughter, Liberty, is murdered. The suspects include her abusive father, Sephti; her disturbed mother, Unyti; and her one-eyed godmother, Jestis. The play asks, "If this family is a microcosm of America, how do their twisted relationships and confused justifications, selfish cruelties and outright lies reflect the detachment and manipulation of constitutional guarantees by citizens and politicians alike? Who killed Liberty?" These Truths will be performed on Thursday, April 10 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 12 at 8 p.m. (Violence, adult situations, strong language.)

Typhoid Mary, written by Jennifer Spillane and directed by Kevin Kingston, tells the story of a modern-day Typhoid Mary who, in the author's words, is "ready to infect the sanity of a young professor at a small college." Sophia, the history professor, suddenly finds life filled with the illogic of Mary's infectious "ChopLogic," just as her research on memento mori--or Victorian photographs of the dead--takes a startling and personal turn. This postmodern black comedy looks at the "insanity of modern life that infects us all." Typhoid Mary will be performed on Friday, April 11 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 13 at 2 p.m. (Adult situations, 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. For example, graduate David Schulner (B.F.A. '96) has had original plays produced at Connecticut's Long Wharf Theatre and at the Cincinnati Playhouse, and recently had a script produced in WB's "Everwood" series. "I, Unseen" by Marika Mashburn (B.F.A. '01) premiered at New Visions, New Voices in 2001 and was later produced at the Off-Off-Broadway Oberon Theatre; she is now a member of Chicago's House Theatre with other SMU playwrights.

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 theatre season at the Meadows School of the Arts is sponsored by The Dallas Morning News.