Theatre at Barton Presents the 2017 New Works Festival featuring “Sam Ragan, Inside the Poetry” February 23-26

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WILSON, N.C. —February 9, 2017 — Theatre at Barton opens its spring season with the 2017 New Works Festival to be held February 23-26 in the Kennedy Family Theatre on the Barton College campus. The festival performances will be free of charge; however, monetary donations will be accepted to support theatre programming.

The four-day run will include three new musicals by local and affiliated artists and alumni, as well as an intriguing performance devised from the remarkable poetry of the late Sam Ragan (a Barton alumnus, a past N.C. Poet Laureate, and one of the two namesakes of The Sam and Marjorie Ragan Writing Center on campus.) The work, “Sam Ragan, Inside the Poetry,” is arranged and performed by his daughter, actress Talmadge Ragan, along with other artists, and will be co-produced by Barton’s English program in the School of Humanities.

Presenting these “new works” on campus will be of tremendous benefit for the students as well as the established artists and alumni. Adam Twiss, director of Theatre at Barton, noted, “One of the most rewarding activities theatre students and professionals have the opportunity to take part in is the development of new material; each collaborative artist has a stake in the project and an enormous sense of responsibility to the process. Most successful plays and musicals are developed through this type of workshop; it can take years to be ready for professional-level production, but they all start someplace. And, this year, The Kennedy Family Theatre will be host to an exciting series of staged readings in the New Works Festival!

“We are seeking to be ‘an incubator of creativity’ as some of these works are being heard for the first time, while the others have had previous readings and are in further development,” Twiss explained. “Each performance will be followed by a ‘talk-back’ session, where the audience will be encouraged to share in the development of the theatrical work and discuss the material in real-time with the writers and actors.”

Performance Schedule —

Feb 23, 7:30 p.m.: “Together Again for the First Time,” by Mark Steimer; directed by Mark Steimer

Feb 24, 7:30 p.m.: “Starboy,” by Ray Shell; directed by Adam Twiss

Feb 25, 7:30 p.m.: “Coop’s Homecoming,” by Zackery Rayburn; directed by Sherry Lee Allen

Feb 25 and 26, 2 p.m.: “Sam Ragan, Inside the Poetry,” by Sam Ragan and daughter Talmadge Ragan; directed by Worth Keeter

Questions regarding the News Works Festival or Theatre at Barton may be directed to Adam Twiss, director of Theatre at Barton, at ajtwiss@barton.edu or 252-399-6484.

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