2022 Epiphanies New Works Festival
Wild Imaginings’ 2022 Epiphanies New Works Festival is back for the third consecutive year with even more talent, variety, and diversity. Theater connoisseurs, thespians, and curious souls are all invited to experience live and never-before-seen progressive performances. From debut staged readings from up-and-coming playwrights to a transformative world premiere play, this festival offers a unique theater experience for Wacoans.
The festival begins on Thursday, October 13, and runs through Sunday, October 16, at downtown Waco’s Cultivate 7twelve. With multiple ticket options for everyone’s schedule, budget, and interests, $25 day passes provide access to staged readings on either Saturday or Sunday, and the $100 VIP pass allows you to see the entire weekend of performances as well as attend a meet and greet on Thursday night over snacks and drinks.
Playwright Firsts & World Premieres
Drawing from playwrights from all over the US and internationally, Wild Imaginings had over 300 entries for the 2022 Epiphanies Festival. The non-profit theater organization then selected the top four plays for table readings and workshops. As a result, Wild Imaginings founder Trent Sutton promised, “It is really an exceptional batch of plays by some really incredible playwrights. A lot of the plays speak for themselves, and they have something that draws in crowds.”
Saturday and Sunday each feature two staged readings, and all of the works incorporate the theme of art and progression, a message of diversity and representation, that is vital for Wild Imaginings. Never too shy to stray away from what some may deem as controversial, Sutton enjoys pieces that require those to step out of one’s comfort zone.
“What we put on stage deeply matters. The stories we tell are how we define a community. It is time that the stories we put on stage reflect the people who live here and whose stories are lived here,” Sutton said.
Conscious of whose stories are presented on stage, this year’s showcase features Wine Vignettes, The Handless King, Un Hombre: A Golem Story, and The River East. These stories encompass constructs and topics exploring feminism and queerness, modernized BIPOC traditional stories, and texts at the intersection of culture and religion.
Opening the festival on Thursday evening—as well as being Sunday night’s grand finale—is the world premiere performance of Cardboard Castles Hung on Walls. Pushing the boundaries of what theater can be, this cutting-edge play explores a relationship between arts and politics that then orchestrates a necessary conversation about the nuances of humanity. Plus, playwright Amy Tofte, who was last year’s 2021 festival winner with the play, is flying into Waco to see her play come to life.
Bringing the Unconventional to Waco
Sutton is one of the increasing number of artists coming to Waco in hopes of inspiring others, building roots, and progressing in their crafts. Known for producing over forty plays and having a long history with the Waco Jubilee Theatre, Sutton and Wild Imaginings keep busy continuously producing new shows. And as a logical extension, the Epiphanies Festival was birthed in 2020 out of Sutton’s desire to showcase new artists, display the unique artistry in playwriting, and bring unconventional stories to Waco.
“We wanted to provide the opportunity for playwrights to see their plays progress,” said Sutton, “and to have the opportunity to see the stories told that they poured so much of themselves into.”
Equally crucial is the collaboration and involvement between the audience and artists.
“We’ve created a unique process. Playwrights can come through and receive feedback for their work,” Sutton said. Audiences will be able to engage with the artists through a process called “talkbacks.” After listening and interacting with the playwrights during their staged readings, this feedback gauges the receptivity of spectators, allowing everyone to be a part of the creative process.
Creativity Reigns Now & in The Future
With the 2022 Epiphanies Festival, Wild Imaginings continues challenging Waco by bringing thought-provoking stories that, admittedly, it may or may not be ready to indulge in.
Still, Sutton declared, “Theater is intended to do that. Art is supposed to be a place where people are confronted with different stories and experiences that force them to think.”
Following this year’s festival, on November 10–13 Wild Imaginings presents The Thanksgiving Play, a fast-paced comedy. In 2023, the Pulitzer-winning Sweat runs from February 16–19, followed by Rent from April 13–16. Season tickets are available now.
Wild Imaginings’ 2022 Epiphanies New Works Festival takes place from Thursday, October 13, through Sunday, October 16, at Cultivate 7twelve in downtown Waco. Choose from multiple ticket options: day passes are $25, and VIP weekend passes with access to all performances are $100.
Stay informed about upcoming theater productions in Waco with our arts events calendar.
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