The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

Appoggiatura Play at UC Santa Barbara

Dates: February 28, 2013 – March 9, 2013

Location: Hatlen Theater, UC Santa Barbara campus

Cost: $13/Student, Seniors, UCSB Faculty, Staff & Alumni; $17/General Admission

A LAUNCH PAD Preview Production of a New Play


Directed by Risa Brainin

Thursday, February 28 | 8pm
Friday, March 1 | 8pm
Saturday, March 2 | 8pm
Sunday, March 3 | 2pm
Thursday, March 7 | 8pm
Friday, March 8 | 8pm
Saturday, March 9 | 8pm

Appoggiatura: uh-poj-uh-toor-uh. From the Italian appoggiare meaning “to lean.” In music, appoggiatura is a note of long or short duration sometimes creating a dissonance before resolving into a main note. And so it is with the play: what begins on a rainy night inside an old-world hotel room in Venice ends on a bright sunny day outside on its streets and campos. An old woman who knows this might be her last trip to Italy. Her granddaughter who has just graduated from college and has no idea what comes next. A middle-aged man who doesn’t know how to mend his broken heart. Their young Italian tour guide who makes up any history he doesn’t know. And a drunken street musician who seems to be following them wherever they go. APPOGGIATURA is a play about an American family finding itself by completely losing itself. Italy is a good place to do that…

James Still’s plays have been produced throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, China and Japan. His play The House That Jack Built is the 2012 winner of the Todd McNerney New Play Prize at the Spoleto Festival and premiers this fall at Indiana Repertory Theatre. Also premiering this season: Illegal Use of Hands at American Blues in Chicago; and Appoggiatura (commissioned by Denver Center Theatre Company) in a preview production as part of Launch Pad at UC Santa Barbara. His play I Love to Eat will be seen at Portland Center Stage in Portland, OR and the Round House in Washington, DC. Published plays include The Heavens are Hung in Black (Ford’s Theatre in D.C.); The Velvet Rut (Illusion in Minneapolis); A Long Bridge Over Deep Waters (Cornerstone’s Faith-Based Theatre Cycle in Los Angeles); And Then They Came for Me; Iron Kisses; Searching for Eden; Looking Over the President’s Shoulder; Amber Waves; and The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name). Still is a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, an elected member of both the National Theatre Conference and the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, the playwright in residence at Indiana Rep and an artistic affiliate with American Blues/Chicago. Awards include the Otis Guernsey New Voices prize from the William Inge Festival and the Medallion for Sustained Achievement from the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America. He is also a five-time Emmy nominee for his work in television including Nickelodeon and Maurice Sendak’s Little Bear and Bill Cosby’s Little Bill, Discovery’s Paz and Miffy on PBS. He lives in Los Angeles.

In 2010 the Department of Theater and Dance formalized LAUNCH PAD, a residency and performance program at UCSB. This exciting initiative offers a professional playwright the chance to fully produce an original work with faculty members and guest artists in a safe environment with deeply engaged students who are hungry to learn how new plays are developed. Prominent writers who have participated in this process at UCSB include Lila Rose Kaplan, Barbara Lebow, Sarah Ruhl, John Walch, Beau Willimon, and Sheri Wilner.

The Department of Theater and Dance thanks the following for their generous support of LAUNCH PAD:

UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center

UCSB Academic Senate Research Grant

Richard Auhll

Jan and Don O’Dowd

Read about a previous LAUNCH PAD projects in The Santa Barbara Independent article.

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