In 2013, the Department of Theatre and the Clarence Brown Theatre introduced a program in new play development: to commission a new play specifically conceived for each MFA acting cohort. Playwrights come to work with a group of actors in the first and second year of training, conceiving and developing a play. The play is then considered for full production in the CBT season in final year of training. MFA Designers are also involved in these productions. Three plays have now been produced according to this model:
2016: The Open Hand, by Rob Caisley
2018: The Strangers, by Christopher Oscar Pena
2020: People Where They Are, by Anthony Clarvoe
The plan for the class of 2022 has been modified. Instead of an entirely new work, the actors are working with actor, director, writer, and clown teacher Zack Fine to develop an adaptation of As You Like It.
This new works program has received enthusiastic support from the CBT community. It offers our actors, designers, faculty and staff a vital experience in collaboration and the creation of new work. We fully expect it to continue in the coming years.