2017 New Play Festival:

February 24-26 in Keck Theater
produced by Natalie MakelAlexander Waxler, and Laural Meade
Guest Dramaturg Dan O'Brien
Assistant Dramaturg Rachel Goodman
The Schedule

Friday, February 24 at 8pm
Empty Glasses by Sophie Pester
La Vie en Bleu by Gillian Yaple

Saturday, February 25 at 5pm
Those People by Will Youmans

Saturday, February 25 at 8pm
Thieves in the Night by Billy Schmidt

Sunday, February 26 at 3pm
Dating Sucks by Oren J. Torten

Admission is FREE

Also, be sure to join us Saturday, March 25 at 12pm for our New Play Festival Development Day in the Keck Rehearsal Studio for a public rehearsal of three new plays: Exposed Play by Kevin Bogel, Burner of Ships by Ada Flavin, and Anna/Belle by Kobe Cancel.

The Plays & Playwrights

directed by Andi Chapman

In a tasteful apartment over glasses of wine, Bea and Angela reconnect after years apart. The once best friends reminisce about childhoods spent together through personal vignettes dealing with hardships, triumphs and embarrassments. A story of love, loss and friendship, Empty Glasses address what it really means to grow up.

Sophie Pester is a junior English Literature and Theater double major on exchange year from University of Sussex England. She is new to the department this year but starred in the production of If It Happened To You last semester.

directed by Jessica Hanna

Life cannot be better for young lovers and artists Jack and Margaux. But when they receive a call from her brother, their love endures its hardest test. Through the course of this heartfelt meditation on creative expression, grief and the power of the mind to hinder or heal itself, the complexities of their relationships unfold.

Gillian Yaple is a sophomore theater major, writing minor. This is her first involvement with New Play Festival. She is so excited to have had the opportunity to work on her play with a professional director in LA and team of student and professional actors! La Vie en Bleu is Gillian’s first play, as she usually writes short stories. She hopes to continue writing for stage after the festival, and continue to develop this play in particular. Thanks to friends and family for reading all of the many drafts and for all of you for coming out to hear my work in progress!

directed by Rosie Glen-Lambert

Strangers in a picturesque park meet and seem to be an ideal match. Will and Hazel share the stories that new friends do – about their families, their jobs, their likes and dislikes. As another younger couple plays out their experiences and a musician seems to accompany their every revelation, representations of their past signal what their futures might hold.

Will Youmans is a first-year from New York, and wow is he excited to be on this website and/or pamphlet. Will was in last semester's production of If It Happened To You directed by guest artists David Crabb and Josh Matthews, and wore no pants and a poncho in an episode of The Oxy Bachelor. He is currently undeclared, but is thinking about studying a mix of Theater, History, and writing about himself in the thirdperson. He would like to thank his parents and the New Play Festival for making his dreams come true, having always wanted to see his name printed in Helvetica.

directed by Michael Sargent

At the height of Stalin’s leadership in Russia, artistic expression is hardly tolerated. When an abstract painting of the feared leader goes missing, a small village turns itself upside down in the hunt to find it. Part Marx Brothers romp, part classic sit-com, Thieves in the Night turns communist Russia into a comedic foray about marriage, status and the question of whose art is it anyway.

Billy Schmidt is a playwright and actor from Cupertino, California. His first play, Bombs Away, was featured in last year’s New Play Festival. He’s very excited to participate again this year, this time presenting his senior comprehensive project. You can see him acting at Oxy in April in A Little Night Music, and all summer in the Occidental Children’s Theater.

directed by Fidel Gomez

Best friends Derek, Ari and Sam embark on a friendly “bro-down" to see who can win the hearts of the most women during a round of speed dating. But they soon find that the local single’s scene is not what it appears to be. Dating Sucks takes a fresh and fun approach to the blood bath of finding love in Los Angeles.

Oren J. Torten is a senior Economics major from Newbury Park, California, and will be heading to law school in the fall. In his free time Oren competes in powerlifting and likes to argue with people online about basketball. This is Oren's first project with the Oxy Theater Department.

The Staff

Natalie Makel '18 is a junior at Occidental College. She is pursuing a double major in Theater and Economics. Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Drowsy Chaperone, Measure for Measure, Three Sisters, Intimate Apparel, and If It Happened to You are a few examples of other shows Natalie has done technical work for. She also produced the Second New Play Festival in 2016.

Alexander Waxler '18 is a junior majoring in Theater and Economics. He has been lucky enough to perform in many plays at Oxy as well as working as a stage manager for the past two New Play Festivals. Alexander also works as a tour guide for the Office of Admissions and treasurer for Oxy Hillel, the center for Jewish life on campus. Alexander is a proud member of the Echo Theater Company's first Associate Company and spent his summer working as a house manager for the San Diego International Fringe Festival.

Rachel Goodman '19 is an oscar award watching sophomore at Occidental College. She’s so excited to be the first assistant dramaturg to the New Play Festival and hopes that this position continues to be a staple of the New Play Festival in the future. When she is not working on the New Play Festival, she enjoys reading about rare moss species and taking long walks on the beach. She hopes you all enjoy the festival!

Contact the Theater & Performance Studies Department
Keck Theater 202

Box Office: (323) 259-2922