Wednesday, March 18, 2020 — 7:30 PM EDT

The UpStart Festival is a one-act play festival produced by the Theatre and Performance program. All three plays are new works supported by faculty and staff and are written, directed, designed, performed, and led by students, alumni,
and visiting artists. The three plays that make up the festival are:

Things We Lost in the Aftermath written by Alexis Joy Nagum and directed by Mira J. Henderson.
Something irrevocably changed one night at a cabin by the lake for Zac and his friends. Though Zac’s memory of that night is fragmented, he knows his childhood friend Marni is the key to a clean resolution. Unbeknownst to him, the tensions
that remain unresolved and unspoken in the friend group hinge upon the secret she holds. Driven by the need to solve this conflict, the two uncover more to their group than they expected. Pent-up aggression, jealousies, and so many secrets all come to a head on one depressing memory of that night. In the aftermath of losing our friends, what do we do with these feelings we still have and is anyone ever right to inflict those emotions on each other?

Bitter/Sweet Fools written by Joanna Cleary and directed by Monica Durlak.
Set on the last night of Elizabeth I's reign, Bitter/Sweet Fools follows a family struggling to forgive each other for the memories they share of a tragic
accident. When Agnes visits Tom, her mentally and physically disabled son outcasted from society because of the part he played in his younger sister Elizabeth's death, she is prepared to make a decision from which she won't be able to recover. However, her resolve begins to waver as Tom earnestly insists he is looking after the ghost of his sister. Love and shame take turns outweighing one another while the ghost of Elizabeth, chasing a mystical sun, weaves in and
out of her past. As all three characters slowly come together to tell the story of their disjointed family, their identities are shaped in ways that will forever alter them.

All Art is Quite Useless with book, music, and lyrics by Gaya Bin Noon & Cameron Slipp, directed by Michael Klein, and musical direction by Peter de Sousa.
Based on the original 1890 edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian
Gray, this new musical explores the first published version of a text that was later significantly edited to remove passages deemed “indecent” in nature. The story focuses on the relationship between Basil Hallward, a society painter, and a young aristocrat named Dorian Gray. When Basil presents Dorian with a painting he has created of him, Dorian despairs that the portrait will stay the same as he ages, and enters into a Faustian bargain to preserve his youth. Basil’s struggle parallels Wilde’s own personal struggle that ended in his arrest, after a series of trials where the first edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray was used against him in court.

With three new plays exploring the potent themes of self-identity, forgiveness, and loss, created and staged by some of the region’s most exciting emerging artists, the UpStart 20 Festival is certain to be an unforgettable evening of theatre.

Cost 
$15 General / $10 Students & Seniors / $5 eyeGO
Location 
ML - Modern Languages
Theatre of the Arts
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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