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Celebrating the Life

March 27, 2008 - 11:00pm

AUSTIN, Texas (March 28, 2008) —The University of Texas Libraries and the Fine Arts Library announce the third annual David O. Nilsson Lecture in Contemporary Drama featuring a panel of notable Austin playwrights to discuss their influences and the current state and potential future of their art on both a local and broad scale.

Nilsson Lecture 2008

The panel discussion, which begins at 6:30 p.m. on April 10 at the Salvage Vanguard Theater (2803 Manor Road), will be moderated by artist, director, actor and Austin Chronicle Arts Editor Robert Faires. A reception precedes the event beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Notable authors George Brant, Kirk Lynn, Steve Moore and Sherry Kramer will address their position as straddlers—young, critically acclaimed playwrights whose early successes in the 20th century influenced the theater’s trajectory into the 21st.

The featured playwrights all have a connection to Austin. Brant is in the final year of a fellowship at The University of Texas at Austin’s Michener Center, and his most recent play "Elephant’s Graveyard" was chosen as one of the 10 best by the Austin Chronicle. Lynn is the founder of the Rude Mechanicals theatre collective. His play "The Method Gun" opens at the new Long Center for Performing Arts in April. Kramer is a National Endowment for the Arts fellow and New York Drama League award recipient for "What a Man Weighs" in residence at the Michener Center. Moore is a Chicago native and University of Texas at Austin Master of Fine Arts graduate whose acclaimed works include "Not Clown" and the Austin-set play "Nightswim" about a meeting between Roy Bedichek, J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb.

The David O. Nilsson Lecture was founded through the generosity of Dr. David O. Nilsson, a retired mathematics instructor at The University of Texas at Austin, independent scholar and Henrik Ibsen aficionado.

Past lectures have featured the Swedish novelist Lars Gustaffson (speaking on paradox in Ibsen’s "The Wild Duck") and director of Shakespeare at Winedale James Loehlin (on Stanislavski’s contrarian production of "The Cherry Orchard").

2008 David O. Nilsson Lecture in Contemporary Drama Panelists

George Brant

George Brant is currently in his final year as a Playwriting Fellow at the James A. Michener Center for Writers. His play Elephant’s Graveyard was produced at the University of Texas at Austin in November, and was listed in the Austin Chronicle as one of the Top Ten plays of 2007. His other scripts include Any Other Name, Ashes, N O K, The Lonesome Hoboes, One Hand Clapping, Terminal One, The Royal Historian of Oz, Lovely Letters, Three Men in a Boat, Ripped, All Apologies, Borglum! The Mount Rushmore Musical, Tights on a Wire and Night of the Mime. His scripts have been produced in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Austin by Circle Theatre, Factory Theater, StreetSigns Theatre Company, Prop Thtr, Atlantis Playmakers, SourceWorks, Hyde Park Theatre, Boomer Productions and zeppo theater company. His scripts for BixPix Entertainment, a claymation company in Chicago, have aired on the Disney and Toon Disney Channels. His plays have been selected for the Prop Thtr New Play Festival, the Circle New Play Festival and the WordBRIDGE Playwright’s Lab, and have been finalists for the Clauder Competition, Theatre Masters, the Bay Area Playwright’s Festival, the Hangar Theatre Lab, the Herrick Theatre Foundation’s New Play Competition and the Keene Prize in Literature.

Sherry Kramer

Sherry Kramer’s work has been seen at theaters across the country and abroad, including the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, InterAct Theatre, Yale Repertory Theater, Soho Rep, Ensemble Studio Theater, New York’s Second Stage, The Woolly Mammoth, The Tokyo International Arts Festival, and The Theater of the First Amendment. She is a recipient of NEA, New York Foundation for the Arts and McKnight Fellowships, the Weissberger Playwriting Award and a New York Drama League Award (What a Man Weighs), the L A Women in Theater New Play Award (The Wall of Water), the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award (David’s Redhaired Death), and a commission from A.S.K (The Mad Master). Other plays include When Something Wonderful Ends, and The Bay of Fundy: An Adaptation of One Line from The Mayor of Casterbridge. She was the first national member of New Dramatists, and teaches playwriting at Bennington College, the MFA programs of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and currently here at the Michener Center for Writers.

Kirk Lynn

Kirk Lynn is a Founder and Co-Producing Artistic Director of the theatre collective Rude Mechanicals in Austin, TX. With the Rudes Kirk has written and adapted more than 22 plays, including Lipstick Traces, Requiem for Tesla, and, currently playing at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, The Method Gun. In 2007, two of Kirk’s political plays, an original work about dirty bombs, Major Bang, and an adaptation of David Rees’ satiric comic strip Get Your War On, enjoyed international tours. Kirk’s most recent commission, Hard Beautiful, an adaptation of the Letters and Diaries of Etty Hillesum, will premiere in Boston in Spring of 2009.

Steve Moore

Steve Moore has been writing plays for fourteen years, first in Chicago and then in Austin. In 1994, he helped to found Austin’s Physical Plant Theater and has since written or had a hand in writing ten of its fifteen shows. In the spring of 2004, Steve completed a writing residency at Caldera Arts in Oregon and, in the spring of 2005, he received an MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas Michener Center for Writers. His play Kneeling Down at Noon was produced by St. Edward's University in the fall of 2006 while he was a member of the theater faculty.

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