New Works Festival

New Works Festival

The Theatre Arts Department presents the New Works Festival, a series of original one-act plays written by University of Redlands students. Each play will be directed by Jennifer Stoessner.


8 p.m. Feb. 17 and 18
2 p.m. Feb. 19
The Frederick Loewe Theatre


General admission: $12
Students, faculty, staff, and senior citizens: $8

  • "The Knowing" by Ron Blakely
  • "The Unexpected Visitor" by Brianne Lopez
  • "Talthybius" by Aaron Stevenson
  • "Naptime" by Kelly Odor
  • "Studies in the Skies" by Kalehua Shamel
  • "Into the Rabbit Hole" by Sarah Perez
  • "Hatching Cocoon" by Olivia Spirz
  • "Mary" by Ryan Stewart

In their own words:

Kalehua Shamel: "My play, 'Studies in the Skies,' is about two strangers who are dissatisfied with their lives and the relationships they've formed. Their meeting is by pure chance and through a conversation they are each able to come to terms with the aspects of their lives that they're unhappy with. If there is one thing I hope people take away from this play, it is the idea of the impact our day-to-day interactions with complete strangers can have on our lives."

Sarah Perez: "I hope that after watching my play, some sort of discussion is triggered on topics of mental disorders. There is a such a rough stigma and a bit of shame behind mental illness that I really hope can be broken down or at least openly talked about. The gratification that comes with having my work chosen, performed, and directed by others—especially such a personal piece—is unlike any I have experienced."

Brianne Lopez: "My play, 'The Unexpected Visitor' is about a woman and her resistance towards grief, finding that the one thing she unknowingly needed would come to her unexpectedly. I hope the audience leaves with a sense of hope, and the knowledge that they are never alone ... and they should always be open to receiving help, no matter what it is or who it comes from. It is always there."

Kelly Odor: "The play is about the nature of romantic love, specifically when we choose to love or choose not to love and what is it that compels either of those choices. I was inspired by a conversation with a friend who asked me what I thought the definition of love was, and whether or not we had control over who and when and how we love. Maybe the audience will walk away with a fuller understanding of what their exact definition is."

Olivia Spirz: "While writing, I found it interesting and somewhat difficult trying to balance all different point of views within the script. Abortion is a tricky topic and I wanted to play devil's advocate, and write from a non-political as well as a non-religious view. I want the audience to put themselves in the shoes of the main character, and reflect on their own lives, and decide what influences the 'big decisions' of their own."

Aaron Stevenson: "This play is about humanity in war, its presence and its absence. An image I saw of a soldier carrying a civilian child in Afghanistan inspired me to try to create a piece that would bring the message Euripides sent the Greeks during the Peloponessian War back to the stage in this time of war that is so familiar to history. It has been fantastic to have the opportunity to see my play in the process of production and I can't wait to see it on stage."

For more information, contact the Theatre Arts Department at 909-748-8728.

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