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.”
This fall, the workshop series featured the one-act play Trifles by pioneering feminist writer Susan Glaspell (1876–1948) and the musical Small Town Story, with book and lyrics by Sammy Buck and music and lyrics by Brandon James Gwinn.
In the spring, McCarthy will direct The Mouth Pieces (April 6–8), an evening of three one-act musicals by two contemporary theater artists, Sophia Chapadjiev (lyrics) and Allison Leyton-Brown (music).
The student actors will learn these pieces during an abbreviated rehearsal process, mirroring how new musicals are created and “workshopped” in the professional theater world. “This is a crucial opportunity for the students to process the material much more quickly than they are accustomed to do, while maintaining the same level of attention to detail in order to prepare for their performance,” says McCarthy.
And, who knows? Today’s workshop could result in tomorrow’s Broadway hit.
Find more information and purchase tickets on the WCT website.