Two third-year MFA Playwriting students will premiere original plays this weekend on the Callan Theatre stage — Tilting and Ad Nauseam.
Playwriting candidate Rachel Rios’s original work Tilting is about an eccentric heiress to a wind farm on a quest to find a utopian city her father used to tell her about when she was young.
Rios, who is originally from Martinez, Calif., studied English and acting at Loyola Marymount University but says she is glad she decided to join the playwriting program at Catholic University.
“Tilting is a loose adaptation of Don Quixote, which I've loved since childhood,” Rios said. “I found myself returning to Quixote and being empowered by his ability to bring joy and positivity to others, not just in spite of, but often because of the eccentricities of his mind. There's still a stigma surrounding mental health, so Tilting was my way of grappling with it personally, then opening up a conversation about it publicly.”
Playwriting candidate Conor LaRocque is originally from Auburn, Ala. He was drawn to study the craft of playwriting at Catholic University because of its location in D.C., an area rich in theatre variety and opportunity.
LaRocque’s play, Ad Nauseam, follows a financially struggling family that allows a company to cover their home with large digital advertisements in exchange for money. LaRocque says his inspiration came from a desire to write something satirical.
“Advertising and technology emerged as subjects worth satirizing,” he said. “Ads can be pretty ridiculous but also unsettling in how intrusive and manipulative they can be — especially when facilitated by new and powerful technology. The mental and emotional toll on humans was something I wanted to explore because I wonder and worry about this in my own life.”
Tilting will be performed in Callan Theatre Feb. 9, 13, and 15, at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 10 and 16 at 2 p.m.
Ad Nauseam will be performed in Callan Theatre Feb. 8, 14, and 16 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 9 and 17 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for senior citizens and Catholic University alumni, faculty, and staff; and $10 for Catholic University students. Students enrolled in a drama course may receive one free ticket. For more information or to buy tickets, call 202-319-4000 or visit drama.catholic.edu.