The theatre arts department’s annual student-run New Works Festival began yesterday. The New Works Festival offers a look into the challenging work being done by LMU students by providing them with the platform to produce and stage their own theatre festival on campus.

The 2016 installment of the New Works Festival will feature 16 one-act plays written, produced, acted and directed exclusively by LMU students.

"Since the New Works Festival is a student run festival, there is an opportunity for collaboration that is not only a learning experience, but is so much fun,” said sophomore theatre arts major Tori DiGeronimo, who is directing and stage managing the one-act “Ok”, as well as also stage managing “Nan." She continued about the overarching sense of collaboration among all the students involved, seeing as most don’t have just one role in the festival.

“This festival is really all about the students. It gives us an opportunity to get a taste of what goes into work-shopping new plays from the first read through to final performance," said DiGeronimo. "Whether you are a playwright, director, actor or stage-manager, there is something to learn from this festival, and it’s such a rewarding experience to see the work you put in come to life on stage."

The festival encapsulates a wide variety of genres and styles, providing a look into the diverse voices of the campus’ artistic community. New Works provides a look into original student content handpicked by theatre faculty in the fall, then subsequently puts it into the hands of the students to be shown in the spring. Shows like David Techman’s “A Hole in the Wall” promise a piece of Lovecraftian-themed horror, while others — like Ian Salazar’s “The Pond is an Ocean” — provide a comedic look at the tribulations of using the latest fictional dating app “Kindlr.”

“The fact that there's so many one-acts means that so many actors, directors and writers are involved, so it just becomes something that brings a huge amount of people together, whether you're a theatre major or not,” said sophomore film production major and actress in “The Pond is an Ocean” Natasha Behnam. “It's created such a fun environment where everybody's creative minds mesh together to make one cohesive piece of art.”

The New Works Festival serves as an excellent opportunity to see some of the entertaining works produced by fellow students in this last stretch of the school year (when you may desperately need a good laugh or cry to distract you from the actual laughing and crying involved with finals).

The festival runs from Wednesday through Saturday in the Barnelle Theatre inside the Foley building. Admission is free, which means getting there early is recommended as seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Bill One will perform Wednesday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m., Bill Two will perform Thursday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m and Bill Three will perform Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m.

This is the opinion of Garrison Asma, a sophomore film and production major from Salem, Wisconsin. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan or email

by Garrison Asma, L+A Intern

Garrison Asma is a sophomore film production major from Wisconsin. Some of his favorite activities include filmmaking, writing, and being crushed by existential dread.

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