Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: April 28, 2014 11:20:44 AM PDT
Western Theatre Students to Perform Groundbreaking Play About Detroit May 22-31

Contact: Chris Casquilho, Western Washington University’s College of Fine and Performing Arts manager of marketing and special events at (360) 650-2829, or chris.casquilho@wwu.edu

Playwright Jeff Augustin's new play "Corktown" will debut at Western Washington University May 22. The play features live music, gospel songs, poetic text, eccentric characters, mature language, humor, performer and audience shared space - all with the city of Detroit as its protagonist.

BELLINGHAM – Jeff Augustin, a quickly rising star in theatre, is in residence at Western Washington University writing and rehearsing a new play about the decline and rebirth of Detroit.

The play, commissioned by Western, is called “Corktown,” and includes live music, gospel songs, poetic text, eccentric characters, mature language, humor, performer and audience shared space, with the city of Detroit as its protagonist.

Corktown is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Detroit.  The play follows the gentrification of a fallen city through its past, present, and future, from 2007-2034.

“Corktown” is written as environmental theatre in which the audience will move with the performers from space to space on Western’s campus. “Part I – Detroit past” will take place in a parking garage underneath Nash Hall.  “Part II – Detroit present” will occur behind the College of Fine and Performing Arts.  “Part III – Detroit future” will perform in the Douglas UnderGround Theatre.  Parts I and II are outside, but are in covered areas to protect the standing audience from any potential rain.

Augustin is rapidly gaining national recognition for his work. He premiered “Cry, Old Kingdom” at the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Theatre Festival in March 2013.  Humana is the largest new works festival in the United States. He also won the Lorraine Hansberry Award at the National Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, a very prestigious award. Western’s commission is Augustin’s first.

“Corktown” is directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Rich Brown. Brown is a pioneer in the field of Devised Theatre, a form of theatre where a collaborative ensemble collectively generates new plays.

“Corktown” will run at Western from May 22-31, with daily performances at 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $4-12 and are available at the Western Box Office, by calling (360) 650-6146, or online at tickets.wwu.edu.

Please note that “Corktown” contains mature subject matter and language and may not be suitable for all audiences. Due to the locations of the performances, standing and moving from place to place is required.  Audience members will meet in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center. Audience members with impaired mobility should provide advance notice to the Box Office; and usher will be provided to anyone needing special assistance moving between the locations.

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