New Works Festival: Original Audio Dramas from UVA

The University of Virginia’s Drama department presents this year’s New Works Festival in audio drama form.  Five original works produced and directed by UVA students are now available through Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Pinecast.

For more on the process of producing art during a pandemic, check out the Daily Progress’ article.

Episode 1: Strategy
By Avery Erskine
Directed by Jessie Fidler

The morning of a gubernatorial candidate’s apology speech, his daughter discovers his plans to use an anecdote from her life to sway voters. She confronts her father about her discomfort, only to open the floodgates of much larger issues with their relationship. (Please note that Strategy contains subject matter related to mental health conditions that may be difficult for some of our listeners.)

Episode 2: Half-hour Ride North

By Karen Zipor
Directed by Jakob Cansler

Claire urgently needs to drive David, her troubled childhood friend, to Canada. During the last 30 minutes of their ride, they discuss their old adventures and personal trauma — all while Claire grapples with whether she’s still a righteous person after committing a murder. (Please note that Half-Hour Ride North contains subject matter related to mental health conditions and gun violence that may be difficult for some of our listeners. Sounds of multiple gunshots are heard throughout the audio drama.)

Episode 3: ​The Lovers, Reversed
By Allison Kinney
Directed by Niya Venkatraman

Amanda is a young person desperate for reassurance that her love life has a bright future. Zed is a brutally honest psychic who tells Amanda that love isn’t in the cards for her but offers to help try to find someone (anyone) for Amanda to love. Our heroes face malevolent supernatural interference, Amanda’s terrible taste in suitors, and the hazy boundary between self-deception and hope.

Episode 4: FUNeral
By Rainah Gregory
Directed by Max Tankersley

The Lee family seem to be in a pickle, and it’s not your typical pickle, either. After receiving an invitation to a funeral, the Lee family do what anyone would do: show up. But something seems a bit…off. Can Dad save the day?

Episode 5: Boys the Musical
By Isabella Ullmann
Music Direction & Composition by Vaheed Ali Talebian
Directed by Laurel Voss

Abigail is pressured by to “rebrand” herself in college as a party animal and finds herself in a situation that is completely untrue to herself. Abigail must learn to assert what she wants and who she wants to be, even if she isn’t quite sure what that looks like at age eighteen.

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