Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) Department of Humanities and Arts and its theatre group Masque are celebrating the 28th anniversary of New Voices, the nation's longest-running collegiate "new and original" play festival. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 14-17, with 5 and 8 p.m. performances on Friday, April 16, in WPI’s Little Theatre, located behind Sanford Riley Hall. Doors open 30 minutes prior to show start; admission is free and open to the public.
Since 1982, New Voices has featured original, unpublished scripts by WPI students, faculty members, staff, alumni, and friends. This year, nine plays, all written, directed, and performed by members of the WPI community, were chosen for the festival. They are
- A Prayer for Rain by Tofer Carlson, directed by Megan Faulkner and Jony Balboni
- All the Truth by Nick Medeiros, directed by Kelsey Mawhiney
- Get Me to the Church on Time by Michael Ciaraldi, directed by Holly Fletcher
- Happily Ever After by Elizabeth Dawson, directed by Tofer Carlson
- Lumberknight by Christopher Osborn, directed by Aubrey Scarborough
- Mother of Invention by Dean O`Donnell, directed by Josh Luther
- The Change by Steven Vessella, directed by Joel Sutherland
- The Party Train by Rick Desilets, directed by Bhavika Shah
- The Secret of Water by Richard Pavis, directed by Anika Blodgett.
The festival's producer is Corey Randall.
WPI offers a rich theatre program. Masque, which is among WPI's oldest student organizations, is one of several theatre groups at the university. The others include VOX, M.W. Repertory Theatre, Sunburns Theatre Company (summer theatre), and Student Comedy Productions (improvisational and sketch comedy troupes). The Rho Kappa cast of Alpha Psi Omega (National Honorary Theatre Society) puts on one 24-hour show. These organizations offer approximately 20 productions a year (six plays, one musical, one festival, approximately 10 comedy shows, and one 24-hour show) to the WPI and Worcester communities.