Austin Playhouse has chosen three winning plays to be performed during its 2018 Festival of New Texas Plays from April 27 – 29. Eidophusikon by Reina Hardy will kick off the festival on Friday, April 27 at 8pm, Nutshell by C. Denby Swanson will follow up on Saturday, April 28 at 8pm, and Monroe by Lisa B. Thompson will conclude the lineup on Sunday, April 29 at 7pm. Along with the professional staged reading, which will feature Austin Playhouse directors and company members, each of the winning playwrights will receive a $500 prize.
“For the second year of the festival, we decided to narrow the focus to Texas playwrights,” says Artistic Director Lara Toner Haddock, “By highlighting the incredible voices of local playwrights, we feel the contest has a more meaningful and direct impact on our community. The ten finalists represent a diverse range of voices in Texas theatre, and the three winning plays are relevant and compelling new works that reflect current societal interests and offer boundary-pushing theatricality. We look forward to sharing these new works with Austin.”
Eidophusikon by Reina Hardy
A mysterious man and a tiny scrappy girl are building a new machine inspired by a legendary creation out of scavenged materials in a tiny underground bunker. The machine is called an Eidophusikon and its purpose is to transcend time. When their work is interrupted by a man who needs part of the Eidophusikon to heal his own grief, the fantastic machine and everyone who works on it is in danger. A wonderfully theatrical fable that challenges audiences and performers to expand the limits of the stage and their imaginations.
Nutshell by C. Denby Swanson
Nutshell tells the story of Frances Glessner Lee, the mother of forensic science, who used her inheritance in the 1930's and 1940's to make miniatures of crime scenes, which are still used today to train investigators. In the play, she conducts a seminar, even though she is dead herself, in an attempt to understand the physical evidence of her own life and build the legacy that even today continues to help solve violent crimes.
Monroe by Lisa B. Thompson
A mysterious pregnancy, a lynching, and dreams of California haunt Cherry, a domestic who believes that God is telling her to leave the south. Although her family tolerates her eccentric ways, her friend Clyde takes her visions and dreams seriously. When Clyde invites her to go along with him to California, Cherry must decide whether being the keeper of her family’s roots and cultural traditions justifies living under Jim Crow. Set in rural Louisiana during the Great Migration, Monroe reveals how the threat and aftermath of racial terror dominates the psyches of young African Americans.