OBU’s College Players along with OBU Theatre will present the seventh annual New Works Festival Friday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Sarkeys Black Box Theater. Students, faculty and friends alike will enjoy short plays, all created by OBU students. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and free for season ticket holders. The performance kicks off OBU Theatre’s celebration of “100 Years of Theatre on Bison Hill.”
The performance consists of four plays, all written, directed and performed by OBU students. These short plays are presented to the audience in “workshop” format, meaning the attention is placed on the audience hearing the written word, rather than upon viewing spectacle. At the conclusion of each play, the audience is encouraged to offer feedback to the playwrights.
The first play of the night will be “Galaxy,” written by junior Kendra Johnson and directed by senior Grant McGee. The play will feature sophomore Erin Loyd as Mercy and junior Bayleigh Platter as Gala.
“Watching the New Works Festival for the first time as a freshman, I never expected to be seeing something I wrote included in a New Works Festival, so I am very excited,” Johnson said. “Grant McGee is a great director and he has a great cast, so I am really looking forward to seeing what their creativity brings to the story.”
The second show of the night is “Peachy,” written by junior Garrett Wheeler and directed by senior Court Haygarth. “Peachy” will be performed by freshman Donald Garrison as Maurice and freshman Justus Miller as Gala.
“In a very subtle play such as ‘Peachy,’ getting the playwrights’ insights has been priceless,” Haygarth said. “It will truly help the motivation of the play.”
The next play is “Death and the Immortal Woman,” written by senior Josiah Jones and directed by Johnson. Featured in this show will be freshman Grace Fine as Naamah and senior Caleb Frank as Death.
“Josiah Jones’ script wrestles with some very challenging and important questions – with themes of life, death and living forever – and I am very blessed to get to work with this script and grow as a director by doing so,” Johnson said.
The New Works Festival will close with a piece titled, “Wulver,” written by McGee and directed by Wheeler. Actors include sophomore Anna Smolen as Rory, sophomore Larashleigh Wallace as Mother, and freshman Nathan Goforth as Wulver.
“I am very excited to have my play performed this year,” McGee said. “The story is one I have been wanting to tell for a while now and I am looking forward to seeing it shared.”
OBU Theatre’s 100th season includes three additional powerful, can’t-miss shows. The next performance will be “The Pirates of Penzance,” written by W.Ss Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. This play will be presented in partnership with OBU’s Division of Music, directed by Dr. Hephzibah Dutt with musical direction by Dr. Louima Lilite. “The Pirates of Penzance” will take the stage on Oct. 24 through Nov. 3 in the Craig-Dorland Theatre inside Shawnee Hall. Tickets for this event will be $15 for adults and $5 for students.
OBU theatre will pay tribute to Emily Dickinson, as they present “Emily, An Amethyst Remembrance,” written by OBU alumnus Chris Cragin-Day and directed by Joshua Peterson. The play looks at the life of Emily Dickinson, incorporating her poetic voice as she encounters various events in her journey through a world of isolation. This production is set to run at the Sarkeys Black Box Theater Feb. 6-9. Tickets for this event will be $12 for adults and $5 for students.
The final production of the 2019-20 season will be “Barefoot in the Park,” written be Neil Simon and directed by Dr. Hephzibah Dutt. This production is a romantic comedy focusing on a pair of newlyweds as they begin life in a tiny fifth floor apartment in Manhattan. The play will run April 23-26 in the Craig-Dorland Theatre. Tickets will be $12 for adults and $5 for students.Season tickets are available for $30 for adults and $12 for students and may be purchased by calling (405) 585-4350. Tickets for individual performances may be purchased by calling or online.