Spring 2021 ON THE BRINK Reading Series
Curated by Professor Saffron Henke
What have we learned from 2020? How do we as theatre artists respond to this moment?
These are multifaceted times we are facing, not just in terms of the political, social and cultural upheavals that 2020 brought upon us, but also the challenges the pandemic has brought to live performance as well. In response, this Spring, the Colorado State University Theatre Department will begin a series of readings of new works addressing the hot topic themes of our times – issues that have pushed our culture to the brink…and that reveal whole new worlds of possibilities. A collaboration of professional theatre artists, faculty members, current students and CSU alumni, On the Brink will explore works representing a variety of underrepresented voices and perspectives.
HIR by Taylor Mac
9:30pm Facilitated post-reading discussion
Directed by guest artist Lauren Ellis
Featuring performers: Saffron Henke, Mace Archer, Jaye Cooney, and Tony Carr
Somewhere in the suburbs, Isaac has returned from the wars to help take care of his ailing father, only to discover a household in revolt. The insurgent: his mom. Liberated from an oppressive marriage, with Isaac’s newly-out transgender sibling as her ally, she’s on a crusade to dismantle the patriarchy. But in Taylor Mac’s sly, subversive comedy, annihilating the past doesn’t always free you from it.
Lauren Brooke Ellis (Director)is a playwright, director, and stage manager from Aiken, SC. She earned a certificate in New Play Directing and her M.F.A. in playwriting from Hollins. She has devoted a significant amount of time in recent years to the development of new plays, most notably as the award-winning director of She Made Space by Meredith Dayna Levy, Community Garden by Ben Jolivet, and Arachnothology by Kimberly Patterson. Lauren serves as the chair for both the Ten Minute Play Festival and the Charles M. Getchell New Play Contest for SETC. She currently is an adjunct faculty member and virtual production manager for the Hollins Theatre Institute.
Mace Archer (Arnold) is currently the Artistic Director at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. A native of Montana, Mace was a founder and the Producing Artistic Director of Venture Theatre in Billings, MT, now the NOVA Center for the Performing Arts. Mace served as Assistant Professor of Theatre at Randolph College, where he was appointed Chair of Theatre in his second year. Mace has worked around the nation as an actor and director, including stops at Kentucky Repertory Theatre, The Clarence Brown Theatre, Arizona Broadway Theatre, and the Springer Opera House. Favorite roles include Henry Higgins in Pygmalion, Captain Walker in Tommy, and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Directorial credits include Spring Awakening (Randolph College), Man from Nebraska (MHCC), Speech and Debate (Clarence Brown Theatre), and Annie Get Your Gun (Thin Air Theatre Company).
Saffron Henke (Paige) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Colorado State University. A longtime member of the Actor’s Equity Association, Saffron has performed at many regional theatres, including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Riverside Theatre, and the Furious Theatre Company. She was also an Associate Artist and acting company member for four seasons at the Sacramento Theatre Company, and served as Director of STC-2, a training conservatory. She has taught at the University of Southern California, the Center Theatre Group, and at A Noise Within Theatre, St. Ambrose University, the University of Iowa, and is the Artistic Director of The Brink Theatre Company, a company focused on doing site specific new work. www.saffronhenke.com
Tony Carr (Isaac)- Tony is a Senior Theatre Performance major at Colorado State University. He is looking forward to working on another production at CSU and is thankful for this wonderful opportunity in these uncertain times.
Jaye Cooney (Max) Jaye is a 23 year old trans and queer actor. Their credits include The Laramie Project, Alice in Wonderland, Dead Meat and more. When they are not chasing their dreams in performance, you can find them reading a good book or writing plays.