Twentieth Anniversary of New Voices Drama Festival Scheduled for April 17-20

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, MA - April 16, 2002 - For two decades, the imaginations of many have produced willful, humorous, tragic, unique and even ordinary characters who live for a few short weeks in the spring. New Voices 20, Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) annual showcase of theatre arts will take place in Alden Memorial Hall from April 17 to the 20th at the University's Worcester campus. WPI's theatre program is ranked by the Princeton Review as 11th in the United States for theatre.

The innovative theatrical festival will be performed on a set described as part Greek amphitheatre, part baseball park, eight columns and a dash of insanity." Thirteen plays promise an equally diverse juxtaposition of time, place and attitude.

"Theatre at WPI is so much more than just putting on a play. We have incredibly talented people, and we can bring many more resources, especially technology into the picture," said Katie Bouffard, Executive producer of New Voices 20, and a WPI student and a biotechnology major. "I am so grateful that I get to be a part of this experience. There are so many people, particularly in the Humanities and Arts department who worked tirelessly to support the this event."

The 13 plays selected were reviewed from a pool of nearly 50. Submissions were invited from anyone affiliated with Worcester Polytechnic Institute - students, faculty and staff. The dramaturges reviewing the submitted scripts which came from WPI students, faculty and staff, also evaluated five scenic designs. The identity of the playwrights was not known to the readers until after the plays had been selected. Once selected, the group then works with the playwrights find a director, and advocate for them during the production phase.

New Voices 20

Thirteen plays were selected for this year's festival:

Apron Strings, Feet in Danger and Someone to Talk To by Elliot Field, WPI class of 2002 Apron Strings is one person's story about growing up and away from Mom's guiding hand. Feet in Danger investigates the psyche of a young man dealing with... a mouse in his home! Someone to Talk To is a monologue without words on a person's search for someone to talk to.

The Business of Men by Ben Sandofsky, WPI Class of 2002, is a satire about a company undergoing a "shift in business paradigms.

The Cornfield by WPI graduate student Jessica Buckingham centers on five college students who wander into a cornfield maze in search of a phone.

Death of an Innocent by WPI graduate student Peter James Miller is about a young man who is not as innocent as he first believed.

The Dinner Guest is by WPI adjunct professor of mathematics Herman Servatius and his daughter Cecilia. This play supplies the missing acts which explain why the Friar didn't do something to avoid the tragedy in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

The First Date is by WPI professor of practice in computer science Michael Ciaraldi. "Dinner and a movie. What could go wrong?"

I Want, by WPI Instructor and administrator of drama/theatre Dean O'Donnell focuses on three people who try to write.

It's Okay, Tony is by Paul Benjamin Irish, WPI class of 2004. It's a soliloquy of a man concerning his member.

Lost in Translation by Catherine Darensbourg, WPI class of 2002, is about a new Jesuit missionary priest put in an awkward position when his potential converts start working miracles.

Sixty Six by Matt Tucker, WPI class of 2002 is about a confused guy getting by with help from his friends and a whole lot of beer.

There are Monsters Under My Eyelids by Lisa Norcus, WPI class of 2002, is about shattered hearts and vulnerability.

Computer Science Major and member of WPI's class of 2002 Mike Roberts' design was selected for this year's New Voices festival. Called "Aristotle Garciaparra" it's one part Greek amphitheatre, one part baseball park, one part wacky idea, a dash of insanity and eight columns.

The festival runs April 17-20. For more information about tickets and show times, visit the New Voices Web site.

New Voices is a co-production of WPI's Masque theatre program and the University's department of Humanities and Arts.

About WPI

WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education, and is recognized as one of the leading outcomes-oriented undergraduate programs preparing people for success in our technological world. Since its founding in 1865, WPI has broadened and perfected an influential curriculum that balances theory and practice.

This innovative and unique combination of educational methods, learning environment and a worldwide network of project centers is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, WPI supports the academic and research pursuits of over 2,500 students and 200 faculty pursuing opportunities to blend technological research and practice with societal needs, delivering meaningful real-world benefits.

For over a century, WPI has awarded advanced degrees in the sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as the management of technology and business. Our alumni include Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry; Harold Black, inventor of the principle of negative-feedback; Carl Clark, inventor of the first practical airbag safety system; Dean Kamen, inventor of the first wearable drug infusion pump; and many others who contribute to the transformation of our technological world.