Life + Arts

Director speaks about world premiere at UH

The School of Theatre and Dance is hosting the world premiere of “Now This” written by Scott Kaiser. The show will open on Friday to a full audience, with nine other showings through April 24.

Director Sarah Becker and students of the school are the first people to work on the show. She picked up “Now This” after her colleague finished writing it and was given the opportunity to bring the script to life for the first time.

“I first read this play because Scott was a colleague of mine at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival,” Becker said. “He handed me the script and said, ‘I wrote a play, what do you think?’

“About a year later, I didn’t know what play to do with my students at the University of Houston. We were looking for scripts and he said, ‘Why don’t you do the world premiere of my play?’

“I was really flattered that he would give us the rights to do that and let us take part in its development in that way,” Becker said.

The play borrows from Dylan Thomas’ radio play called “Under Milkwood” and is also influenced by Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.”

The play features 62 characters played by an ensemble cast of 19. This is the first time the play will ever be performed for an audience.

“The most exciting part for me, which I think is the most exciting part for all of us, is that it’s never been done,” Becker said. “Developing new work is unlike anything else. There’s no researching how they did it before or seeing what reviewers said before or looking at pictures of it. It’s all virgin territory.”

The plot of the play focuses on the struggles of teenager Joey Adderall living in the town of Purple Mountain. The play is about different coping mechanisms used in our society and how they get through the struggles of day-to-day living.

“My big hope is that it provokes the same discussion for the audience that it has provoked us as a company,” she said. “It doesn’t judge any one coping mechanism over another. I hope that people will listen to get a perspective from their own, see another perspective — maybe it will help them clarify their own.”

The play opens this Friday and is a collaborative effort between many different artists from across the country. Tickets for the show are $20 for general admission, $15 dollars for faculty and $10 for students.

The play features music and comedy, and audiences will get to be a part of a very unique experience.

“Because this show is a world premiere it will forever belong to the students who created for the first time,” Becker said. “So anyone who’s coming to see this play is seeing something that is handmade, unique and edgy.”

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