Playwrights Adapt History to the Stage in Emory Festival of New Plays

January 16, 2014

ATLANTA¿The Playwriting Center of Theater Emory announces the 2014 Brave New Works festival, January 30¿February 15. Brave New Works unites regional and national playwrights, adaptors, composers, and dramaturgs-in-residence at Emory with a combined company of student and professional actors for a festival of new play readings and exploratory workshops.

"Several of our writers this year are bringing history to the stage in powerful, theatrical and highly personal ways," explains Lisa Paulsen, director of the Playwriting Center at Emory University. "In addition, we are delighted to share the work of three talented and promising American playwrights who are candidates for the first Fellowship in Playwriting at Emory University." Following each presentation these candidates will discuss their writing process as well as the creative work they plan to pursue during their two-year residency.

 The festival includes:

  • February 1, 7 p.m.: "The Bitch of Balaclava," a work in progress about Florence Nightingale¿s work during the Crimean War, written by Patricia Henritze and directed by Vincent Murphy.
  • February 6, 7 p.m.: Selections from "A Work of Pure Fiction" and "Total Power Exchange," by Edith Freni, candidate for Emory¿s 2014-2016 Fellowship in Playwriting.
  • February 7, 7 p.m.: U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway adapts her Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of poetry for the stage. This reading of "Native Guard" is produced in collaboration with the Alliance Theater with support from the National Civil War Project, a multi-city, multi-year collaboration between four universities and five performing arts organizations to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.
  • February 13, 7 p.m.:  Selections from "An Elaborate Systems of Ropes and Pulleys" and other new work, by Jef J. Peterson, candidate for Emory¿s 2014-2016 Fellowship in Playwriting.
  • February 15, 7 p.m.: "The Sapelo Project," curated by Josiah Watts and directed by Janice Akers, integrates music, movement, spoken word, acting, and video to celebrate Sapelo Island¿s rich culture and oral history.

In conjunction with Brave New Works, Theater Emory presents "Element of Risk: Bringing Bravery into the Creative Process" on February 8 at 5:30 p.m. This forum unites innovators in the areas of design, education, performance art, public health and more to discuss taking risks, breaking new ground, and redefining how one thinks about creative work. Panelists include poet Jericho Brown, choreographer Blake Beckham, scientist and inventor Dennis Liotta, performance artist Scott Turner Schofield, and Emory provost Claire Sterk.

All events will take place in the theater lab of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. All presentations are free and open to the public, but space is limited, so reservations are recommended. Reservations can be made by contacting the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050. Reservations for the February 8 panel can be made by contacting Emma Yarbrough at or 404-712-9118.

For more information, as well as a complete list of presentations, times and locations, please visit


Theater Emory

Theater Emory is the resident professional company at Emory University where undergraduates work alongside professional theater artists, producing innovative new work and classics with a fresh approach.