Join us live in Keck Theater!

Produced by Zachary Goldsmith '24, Haowen Luo '24 and Laural Meade

For more than 20 years, the Occidental New Works Festival has paired student playwrights and actors with professional guest directors and performers. Focused on writer-centric rehearsal and performance, the festival provides a real-world experience of new play development as it is practiced in major theaters around the country.

The Plays & Schedule | Playwrights | Producers

The Plays & Schedule

All performances are in Keck Theater and admission is free


Saturday, February 25, 2023

a double-bill
Clock Out by Jonah Matso '24
Directed by Aly Mawji
Some restaurant kitchens are calm, cool, collected. Not this one - it’s hot, chaotic and congested - with tensions on the boil. A diverse crew of characters each clock in with a different agenda. A server looking to be redeemed… or distracted. A cook looking for freedom, with nowhere to turn. A chef with big expectations, and an even bigger god complex. They’d drive each other crazy… if they didn’t have to beat the dinner rush.

Emergency Contact by Wren Andres '24
Directed by Jer Adrienne Lelliott
A childhood bedroom in the suburban midwest, a dorm room at a west coast school, one long car ride home. Across time and distance, Jamie and Noah find a home in one another. Together, they dream of the world they want to create. Apart, they struggle to hold on to themselves and each other. Emergency Contact explores the intersection of queer friendship and learning how to love when you are just finding your footing.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Center of the World by Amber-Lee Davison '26
Directed by Jessica Hanna
Bob Hanks, son of Tom Hanks (yes, that Tom Hanks), always seems to get everything he wants - especially in his acting endeavors. But a major event causes him to question what’s behind his endless success. Is he as rare and talented as he thinks he is - the real Center of the World around which others can only orbit - or does he just suffer from a severe case of nepotism-itis?

El Corazón de la Luna by Joaquín Madrid Larrañaga '23
Directed by Israel López Reyes
As teen-ager Martín grapples with terrifying dreams, his father’s death, and a strange magical woman named Estrella, he never could have imagined falling in love. But when a cute boy shows up in his Catholic confirmation class, he must come to terms with his own homophobia. In this queer coming-of-age story - that is also an ode to Albuquerque, New Mexico - love, religion, and magic take center stage.


Wren Andres '24


Wren Andres is a Theater major in their junior year at Oxy and honored to be in this years New Works Festival. Wren is a long-time performer, first-time playwright with a fierce love of their home both the people and the places. His first play Emergency Contact is ‘a love letter to queer love and friendships.'

Amber-Lee Davison '26


I’m Amber, and I’m thrilled to be one of the playwrights for this year’s festival. I’m a freshman, but even before that I’ve been interested in Oxy’s theater department. So, to be able to create a piece for them is an amazing opportunity that I’m grateful to experience in my college journey. I’m looking forward to working with my talented cast + my director to bring my play to life!

Joaquín Madrid Larrañaga '23


Joaquín Madrid Larrañaga is a senior computer science major and a theater and performance studies minor. Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Joaquín has been performing, directing, and producing productions since he was 5 years old. Though he's a performer at heart, Joaquín is excited to present his first original play El Corazón de la Luna, which aims to be an ode to the beauty of New Mexico, while also tackling issues of homosexuality, catholicism, curanderismo, and coming of age. You can learn more about Joaquín on his website at

Jonah Matso '24


Jonah is a junior Theater and Performance Studies Major. He is an aspiring writer and this is his first play.


Zachary Goldsmith '24


This is Zach’s first year producing the New Works Festival, and he is very excited for you to see these wonderful plays! Zach (he/him/his) is a junior Theater & Performance Studies and Urban & Environmental Policy double major from Portland, Oregon. A writer, actor, and producer, Zach loves telling relevant and innovative stories and creating/supporting new work. Enjoy the festival, everybody!

Haowen Luo '24


Haowen Luo is an experienced student as an actor, running crew, and production crew. Haowen Luo is from Qingdao, China where he received much inspiration from local thriving theater and art. Haowen actively participates in the Theater & Performance Studies department programs at Occidental College: performed in Scenes from Metamorphoses, and helped produce Into the Woods and Elevada. Majoring in Theater & Performance Studies at Occidental College, Haowen took many classes preparing him for professional work in most theater areas. Haowen is still exploring his possibility in the area of Theater.

Support was provided by the Edgerton Foundation, Academic Student Project Awards from Occidental College, and Omar's Cookie Jar.

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Contact the Theater & Performance Studies Department
Keck Theater 202

Box Office: (323) 259-2922