Writing Is Live a festival of new work by graduate playwrights


The Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University proudly announces the third annual Writing is Live festival, a presentation of new works featuring six plays by writers in Brown’s graduate and undergraduate theatre programs. Writing is Live celebrates the diversity and strength of new theatrical voices while simultaneously exploring the meaning of text in performance. Performance writing may take forms complete and incomplete, narrative and imagistic, compact or durational, so the festival stresses and plays with the idea of the Live, allowing the development and evolution of new work in conversation with the writer, directors, actors, designers, and audience. All are collaborators in the exciting life of the new performance script.

The festival (formerly the New Plays Festival) is made possible through support from an endowed fund for the Adele Kellenberg Seaver ’49 Professorship in Literary Arts. This year, the festival presents readings and workshops of new plays by four graduate theatre artists from Brown, including Victor I. Cazares, Margaret Namulyanga, Laura Colella and Casey Llewellyn, as well as the workshop production of a new play by Jenna Spencer at Brown’s Rites and Reason Theatre, and a play by undergraduate TAPS concentrator Samuel Barasch. The plays are acted and directed by students in the Brown/Trinity M.F.A. program, Brown University’s undergraduate programs and the community at large.

A chief and storied site for the formation of playwrights, Brown’s graduate playwriting program grants its students broad inventive license while offering close mentorship and profound resources in the department, the university, and the greater local to international communities. Run by playwright Erik Ehn, the program cultivates writers dedicated to the athletic development of their craft, the deep interrogation of the forms and purposes of their art (and of the place of art in the larger world), and a leaning into faithful transformation of society through theatrical action. Alumni of the program include Nilo Cruz (Anna in the Tropics, Pulitzer Prize), Sarah Ruhl (The Clean House, In the Next Room, Pulitzer Nominee, MacArthur Genius Grantee), and Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the Heights, Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue, Pulitzer and Tony Nominee).

With any questions or to schedule an interview with any of the festival’s participants, including the graduating M.F.A. playwrights, contact us at writingislive@gmail.com.

Tickets for all of the festival’s performances are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. For ticket reservations, directions, and additional information including the full schedule, visit www.writingislive.com.


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