Works by University Theatre’s award-winning playwright and lecturer come to the stage

January 21, 2014

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Dina Canup

Dina Canup

Administrative Associate II

Department of Theatre and Film Studies
Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
Work: 706/583-0045
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Athens, Ga. - University Theatre presents a series of short original works from award-winning writer and University of Georgia lecturer John Patrick Bray. Performances will be in the Seney-Stovall Chapel Feb. 4-9 at 8 p.m. with a 2:30 p.m. matinee Feb. 9. Tickets are $12, $7 for students, and can be purchased at http://www.drama.uga.edu/box-office, by phone at 706-542-4400, in-person at the Performing Arts Center or Tate Center box office, or at the door before the show.

Fairy godmothers, the bluegrass bar that birthed punk, the government's secret Department of Extraterrestrial Findings and other oddities come to life in a series of original short plays by Bray.

"Bray's short, quirky works are sure to delight," said David Saltz, head of the department of theatre and film studies at UGA.

Seven faculty and graduate students direct the series of selections designed to make spectators laugh a lot, cry a little and perhaps scratch their heads once or twice.

Bray is rapidly earning a reputation as a playwright in New York and across the country. He has written plays under grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Acadiana Center for the Arts. A member of the Dramatists Guild of America Inc. and an Equity Membership Candidate, Bray's short plays have been featured in multiple "Best of" collections over the last few years. His plays are audience favorites and have been produced off-off Broadway, including productions with the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival and Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.

In Athens, Bray is a lecturer and scholar who has presented at national and regional conferences, and published articles in Theatre Topics, Theatre Symposium, New England Theatre Journal, and Platform (U.K.). He is also a member and moderator of the Athens Playwrights' Workshop and director of Rose of Athens No Shame Play Reading Series. He continues to receive commissions from organizations in Louisiana, Virginia, North Carolina and New York.

This engaging evening features eight of his short plays. Each play has a different director, allowing the audience to see eight separate approaches to Bray's work each night. "Cookies" follows the efforts of a duo of children to acquire sweets. "Southern Werewolf" takes the audience to a world where love really does bite. "Watery Grave" invokes the legendary single toilet-sans stall-bathroom of iconic punk club CBGB. "Eleanor's Passing" reminds the audience to keep living even when life looks bleakest. "Coffee On?" brings the audience the secret lives of coffee shop workers. "On Top" explores the titillating and sometimes devastating effect the scent of a candle can have. "Green Sound" sees two misunderstood people develop a deeply intuitive connection based on absolute acceptance. "Tech Support of the Darned" allows the audience to eavesdrop on the water cooler talk of secret government employees. These "letters to the world," as Bray calls them, make it clear what draws audiences around the country to his work.

The directors:
Alicia Corts: "Eleanor's Passing"
Chris Eaket: "Coffee On?"
C.A. Farris III: "On Top"
Mike Hussey: "Southern Werewolf"
Kristin Kundert-Gibbs: "Watery Grave" and "Cookies"
David Saltz: "Green Sound"
Fran Teague: "Tech Support of the Darned"

The ensemble:
Jayln Fleming-senior theatre major from Decatur, Ga.
Chris Stalcup-junior theatre major from Statesboro, Ga.
Jeofrey Wages-junior theatre and journalism double major from Alma, Ga.
Luke Georgecink-senior theatre major from Columbus, Ga.
Jase Wingate-senior theatre major from Albany, Ga.
Bryan Perez-sophomore theatre major from Los Angeles, Calif.
Brooke Owens-junior theatre and Spanish double major from Atlanta, Ga.
Abby Holland-junior theatre major from Marietta, Ga.
Kayla Sklar-marketing and mass media arts double major from Atlanta, Ga.
Suzanne Zoller-senior theatre major from Gainesville, Ga.

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