'(A) New World' by James Still

Event Date: 

Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 7:30pm

Event Date Details: 

Event Location: 

  • UCSB Studio Theater

Event Price: 


Directed by Risa Brainin

(A) New World is set in 1637, in the Plymouth Colony on Cape Cod. The backdrop is the rapid expansion (financially and geographically of Plymouth) -- much to the chagrin of some of the founders who are desperate to protect the original intent of the Colony which was that it be a religious community. There is real tension between religion and commerce, between a closed/controlled community and an ever sprawling new world . The heart of my play inspired by the Allexander/Roberts court case: the first recorded trial for sex crimes in Plymouth. Two young men are sentenced for "often spending their seed, one upon another"... The play has many resonances with contemporary issues of punishing the outsider, religious influence on the courts, and most urgent (and poignant) is the fact that the play zeroes in on homophobia and hatred of gay men from the very beginning of our country's history. Douglass Shand-Tucci wrote that "Most gay history lies buried in bachelor graves.”  

James Still’s plays have been produced throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia China, Japan, and South Africa.  He is a two-time TCG-Pew National Theatre Artist with the Indiana Repertory Theatre where he is in his 19th season commuting from the West Coast as the IRT's first-ever Playwright in Residence.  Plays include:  Miranda (Illusion/Minneapolis); The Widow Lincoln (Ford’s Theatre, Washington, DC); Appoggiatura (Denver Center Theater), April 4, 1968 (Indiana Rep), The House That Jack Built (winner of the New Play Prize at Spoleto); I Love to Eat (Portland Center Stage); A Long Bridge Over Deep Waters (Cornerstone's Faith-Based Theater Cycle in L.A); And Then They Came for Me (around the world including at the House of Commons in London hosted by Vanessa Redgrave). His award-winning short play When Miss Lydia Hinckley Gives the Bird the Bird has been performed at festivals and universities around the country.  Mr. Still is also a winner of the William Inge Festival's Otis Guernsey New Voices Award and a four-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, and five-time Emmy nominee.  His plays have been developed and workshopped at LAUNCH PAD, the New Harmony Project, Sundance, the O'Neill and many more.

Please visit this page for more information about the other plays in our 2017 Summer Reading Series!

This program is supported by the UCSB Summer Sessions Cultural and Enrichment Grant.