Jericho Brown
Jericho Brown

The Playwriting Center of Theater Emory is hosting its 2016 Brave New Works festival through Feb. 13 in the Theater Lab of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. The biennial festival brings professional playwrights, adaptors, composers, and directors together with student and professional actors to produce new work at Emory.

This year’s festival shines a spotlight on the wealth of artists producing exciting and challenging work right here in Georgia. “In 2016, we are proud to feature world-class writers who have put down roots in Atlanta,” said Lisa Paulsen, director of the Playwriting Center. “The scripts they are preparing for Brave New Works are as flavorful and fresh as Atlanta itself.”

Presentations include an adaptation of Jericho Brown’s award-winning collection of poetry, “Please,” a screenplay from David Garrett that places Georg Buchner’s “Woyzeck” in the world of an African-American cop working in present-day Atlanta, and an exciting new piece from playwright Jim Grimsley set in an imagined future when the modern world has collapsed back into slavery and serfdom.

In addition to Georgia-grown work, Brave New Works 2016 presents selections of plays from Emory’s 2016-2018 Playwriting Fellowship finalists.

The playwriting fellowship provides the selected promising young playwright with a two-year residency and the opportunity to teach courses at Emory, continue developing new work, and connect with the Atlanta theater community.

Brave New Works presentations include:

Jan. 29, 7 p.m.: “The Younger,” is the story of one woman’s desperate quest to bring scholar and philosopher Seneca back to Rome following his expulsion. Written by Ann Hughes (17C) and directed by Jeremy Cohen.

Jan. 31, 2 p.m.: “Here to Love You Uncomfortable,” the stage adaptation of Jericho Brown’s “Please,” an exploration of the intersections of love and violence, African American male identity and sexuality. Adapted by Jericho Brown and Snehal Desai.

Feb. 12, 7 p.m.: “King James,” David Garrett’s screenplay adaptation of Georg’s Buchner’s “Woyzeck,” a story of poverty, morality, madness, and violence set in present-day Atlanta.

Feb. 13, 7 p.m.: Jim Grimsley’s “The Looking Glass” tells the story of Widow Evangeline Norris, whose history is similar to the infamous 17th century figure Elizabeth Bathory, “The Blood Countess.” Directed by Joseph Megel.

For more information and a complete list of events, visit theater.emory.edu. 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 reservations are recommended due to limited seating. Reservations can be made by visiting the Brave New Works webpage at theater.emory.edu.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.