As you know, the play examines the relationship between Austrian Jewish professor Vikton Lowefeld and his students, John Biggers and Samella Lewis. What made this cast so special was that it was comprised of students and professors from FIU Theatre and New World School of the Arts. Owing to this, the conversations that we had about art and education was that much more relevant and charged.
The post show discussion was also lively and engaging. A great many audiences members had attended the Beyond Swatiska and Jim Crow exhibit and were thrilled to see the themes come to life so intimately and urgently in a play. I opened the conversation by speaking about the process of new play development from Theater J's Locally Grown Festival to the world premiere production to the continued development taking place with Virginia Stage Company. In response to a question about the difficulty of writing this play, I shared that it most certainly had to do with the balancing the history and the drama. As interesting as history can be, it doesn't always make for compelling drama. With each draft, I'm working to activate the history, fuel the characters intention to increase the stakes. It's an exciting process to be sure! One student shared his appreciation for the play's close examination of individuals living in exile and another student found the conversation around race and identity in art to be deeply reflective her own experience.
Throughout the weekend, I managed to do one rewrite on Sunday evening and furiously took notes throughout the reading. Now that I'm home, I'm going to incorporate these edits and send this new draft over to VSC. I'll certainly keep you posted as the play continues to develop but for now, please enjoy these photos from our rehearsal and reading.
Rehearsal at FIU Theatre
Reading at Gable Stage
About the Coral Gable Museum
About FIU Theatre
We present a season of four productions each year that serve as a laboratory for our students to put their learning into practice. In addition, students will have the ability to write, direct and perform in productions including our Student Theatre Lab, New Plays Festival, and a summer Alternative Theatre Festival. Our summer Alternative Theatre Festival includes a development project of a new work by an established playwright, a faculty directed piece, one student directed piece, and may include Alumni showcase and reunion productions.