Wagner College Theatre is giving students the opportunity this year to be a part of creating new stage plays — and audiences the chance to watch theater-in-the-making — through its New Works Agenda. This series is being produced in Stage One, the black-box theater located behind the Wagner football field.
“We’re interested in working with students on new plays and musical theater works that have been unknown to the actors,” says Professor Theresa McCarthy, who is spearheading the New Works Agenda. “We want to give them the opportunity to create a role that has no precedent for them to emulate.”
Trifles by Susan Glaspell
November 3–5, 2017
Directed by WCT faculty David McDonald, the one-act play explores the day after a murder in a small Nebraskan town, as a small group of characters looks for clues. The play is based on the murder of John Hossack in Medora, Iowa, in 1900. Susan Glaspell wrote the play in 1916, 15 years after she had been assigned to report on the trial of the case for the Des Moines Daily News. The play was later developed into the short story "A Jury of Her Peers."
Small Town Story, with book and lyrics by Sammy Buck and music and lyrics by Brandon James Gwinn
December 1–3, 2017
Tony winner Michele Pawk directed this musical with David Sisco (WCT's La Cage aux Folles) as music director. Inspired by actual events, two families in a North Texas town struggle with a community battle ignited by a high school production of the musical Rent.
In the Light of One Another
March 15–18, 2018,
Shows at 8 p.m. March 15, 16, 17; at 2 p.m. March 17 and 18
This meditation on resistance, drawn from the testimony of Holocaust survivors, is a joint project of Wagner College Theatre and the Wagner College Holocaust Center. It was made possible by a grant from the Leonard B. Kahn Foundation. Written by Martin Moran and Lori Weintrob with music by David Dabbon, this new theatre work is directed by Theresa McCarthy.
The Mouth Pieces, lyrics by Sophia Chapadjiev and music by Allison Leyton-Brown
April 6–8, 2018
Theresa McCarthy directs this evening of three one-act musicals by two contemporary theater artists. The Mouth Pieces is a triptych of separate but intrinsically linked musicals exploring various aspects of the Mouth. Theory of Kiss: Level-headed scientist Claire and like-minded scientist Ray have spent their entire lives dissecting, examining and quantifying the results. But what happens when they are tasked with researching the latest scientific theory on kissing? On Teeth and Longing: A man decays from the inside. A woman is unable to smile. Two kindred spirits both born with gums. If only he would look left. If only she would look right. Pilgrimage to the Mouth: Dia collects mouths. No, not literally. But when the Perfect Mouth whispers to her online, she feels an urge to follow her instinct and find that mouth.