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Wagner New Play Festival 2020 Wagner New Play Festival 2020 has been CANCELLED due to the potential transmission of Covid-19, or Coronavirus. The safety and security of our students, staff, faculty members and greater community is our highest concern. This is a proactive measure. Keep up to date with the university's response.

Sincere apologies for the inconvenience.

new plays by MFA Playwrights

Artistic Direction by Naomi Iizuka

About the Plays

Watch Me
by Dave Harris
Directed by Lamar Perry
Scenic Design by Nicholas Ponting
Lighting Design Lindsay Stevens
Sound Design by Andrew Lynch
in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre

The Haunting at Camp Winona
by Mara Nelson-Greenberg
Directed by Rob Lutfy
Scenic Design by Nicholas Ponting
Lighting Design Lindsay Stevens
Sound Design by Andrew Lynch
in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre

The Sensational Sea Mink-ettes
by Vivian Barnes
Directed by Juliana Kleist-Mendez
Scenic Design by Miranda Friel
Lighting Design by Harrison Foster
Sound Design by Stewart Blackwood
in the Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre

by Ali Viterbi
Directed by Lisa Berger
Scenic Design by Miranda Friel
Lighting Design by Harrison Foster
Sound Design by Stewart Blackwood
in the Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre

a double bill of one-acts
by Keiko Green

Directed by Emily Moler
Scenic Design by Elizabeth Barrett
Lighting Design by Alvin Collins
in the Arthur Wagner Theatre

About the Playwrights
Vivian Barnes is a second-year MFA student from Virginia. Her play Jezebels was a finalist for both the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the O’Neill Playwrights Conference. Her short plays have been presented at the inaugural Ain’t I a Woman Festival, Hearts on the Wall at Dixon Place, and Firehouse Theatre. Recently, she received Clubbed Thumb’s Biennial commission.

Keiko Green is a first-year MFA Playwriting student, originally from Marietta, Georgia. She received her BFA in Drama from New York University. During her time as a theatre artist in the Seattle-area for the past 7 years, she was a member of Seattle Repertory Theatre's 2015 - 2017 Writers’ Group and a CORE Acting Company Member at ACT Theatre. In 2017, her play Nadeshiko (produced by Sound Theatre Company) won the Gregory Award for Outstanding New Play, as well as landing on the Honorable Mentions for the national Kilroys List. At Annex Theatre, she wrote the book and lyrics for the musical Bunnies, as well as the Comic Con show Puny Humans, co-written with Bret Fetzer. She was chosen for the 2018-2019 Scratchpad Series with the Playwrights Realm where she developed Ballad of the White Tiger, and has been a finalist for many honors, including the 2018 Many Voices Fellowship and the Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. As an actor, Keiko has performed at Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Denver Center of Performing Arts, ACT Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and the National Asian American Theatre Company, among others.

Dave Harris is a third-year MFA Playwriting candidate from West Philly. His plays have been featured at Theater503, Cherry Lane Theater, Great Plains, UMASS Amherst, The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals, Co-Op High School, and the Yale DRAMAT. His poetry and essays have been featured at Huffington Post, Callaloo Fellowship, Up the Staircase Quarterly, BOATT Press, The Adroit Journal, and Blueshift Journal. His play White History was a semi-finalist for The Relentless Award (2016) and a finalist for the O’Neill Playwriting Conference (2017). He graduated with a BA in Theater Studies from Yale University in 2016.

Mara Nelson-Greenberg is a third-year MFA Playwriting candidate. Her work has been developed at Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, ACT Theatre and Dixon Place, among others. Her play Do You Feel Anger? premiered at the 42nd Humana Festival of New American Plays and received its New York premiere at The Vineyard Theatre in spring 2019. Her play Hamlet by Mia Fefferman was a finalist for the 2017 Relentless Award. She is a member of EST/Youngblood and an alum of Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writers Group.

Ali Viterbi is a third year MFA playwriting candidate from San Diego. Her plays have been developed, produced, or commissioned by The Kennedy Center/National New Play Network, Round House Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, HERE Arts Center, The Drama League, Jewish Plays Project, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, The Barrow Group, Owl and Cat Theatre in Australia, North Coast Repertory Theatre, Horizon Theater Company, Vermont Studio Center, Wildacres Residency, Yale College, and The Centropa Institute. Her play In Every Generation won the 2019 National Jewish Playwriting Contest, and Period Sisters was a Finalist for the 2018 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Ali graduated from Yale in 2014, receiving their top playwriting prize, and she is the associate producer of the annual Lipinsky San Diego Jewish Arts Festival.
About the Directors

Juliana Kleist-Méndez is a second-year MFA student previously based in Brooklyn, NY. She is an Iowa-born Cuban American committed to embodied storytelling collaborations. Select credits: Far From Canterbury (Winner of Best Musical: New York International Fringe Festival; Encores! at The SoHo Playhouse); La hija del pirata/The Pirate’s Daughter (La Pirata Productions); Club Silencio (Manhattan Theater Company); Elvira: The Immigration Play (Lehman College, Collaboraction Theatre Company); King Lear: A Radio Play (The Framework Theatre). She has a BA in Theatre for Social Change from Cornell University. UC San Diego credit: Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! (WNPF ‘19), Mother Courage and her Children (AD).

Emily Moler is a first-year directing MFA student previously based in Brooklyn NY. Selected credits: And We’re Live, Coffee Break, The Patriot, and MINUTES_12/2/08.doc (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Guarding (The PIT), Chamber Music (Self-produced, featuring an updated script created in collaboration with Arthur Kopit), Untitled American Flag Craft Project and Good Cry (The Brick), and The Troll King (Pipeline Theatre Company). Recent assistant and associate directing credits include The Thin Place (Les Waters), How to Defend Yourself (Marti Lyons), Pipeline (Steve H. Broadnax III), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Meredith McDonough), Peace for Mary Frances (Lila Neugebauer). Moler has developed new work with Joe’s Pub, Night Vale Presents, The Bushwick Starr, Ars Nova, Heartbeat Opera, 3-Legged Dog, The Duplex, and Dixon Place. Emily is a graduate of Skidmore College where she earned her BS in Directing.

About the Shows

WATCH ME by Dave Harris, directed by Lamar Perry
Black Guy and White Girl go on a date. Black Guy and White Girl have the best sex of their lives. Black Guy and White Girl have a lot of baggage. WATCH ME confronts what it means to be in an interracial relationship in the context of heritage, ancestry, and Black Jesus. At the end of the day, how can I get over slavery if I can't even get over my ex?

THE HAUNTING AT CAMP WINONA by Mara Nelson-Greenberg, directed by Rob Lutfy
What’s happening at Camp Winona? People keep dying, campers keep getting pregnant, and there may be a ghost haunting the forest just beyond the Rich Girls’ cabin. The counselors want to have the best summer ever, but class warfare and dead people keep getting in the way. A dark comedy about late-stage capitalism, THE HAUNTING AT CAMP WINONA asks what it means to come of age in a messed up world where nobody gets out alive.

BLUE by Ali Viterbi, directed by Lisa Berger
Mia wants Jay. Jay wants to die. What happens when you find your other half, and that other half consumes you? A fragmented fable about the nature of love, BLUE explores our hunger for connection and the explosive collision of desire with the demons that haunt us. THE SENSATIONAL SEA MINK-ETTES by Vivian Barnes, directed by Juliana Kleist-Mendez The Sea Mink-ettes are the best dance line around and Homecoming is their time to shine. All eyes will be on them and their only option is absolute perfection, but as they rehearse, infighting and clashing personalities threaten to tear the group apart--until an even bigger threat emerges. THE SENSATIONAL SEA MINK-ETTES is a genre-bending deep dive into the price we pay to be the best, the toxic cycles of doubt we get caught in, and what it takes to break free.

THE HISTORY OF DEATH by Keiko Green, directed by Emily Moler Jim is on death row. His pen pal, Nyce, is a normal high school kid with a true crime obsession and a crappy home life. As Jim’s execution date nears, he and Nyce live out alternate realities, fantasize about death and dying, tell a bunch of lies, and eventually get to something close to the truth.

PREPARED by Keiko Green, directed by Emily Moler
The polar icecaps have melted. Tidal waves and tornadoes have destroyed all of humankind as we know it…well, all except Troop 5337. Set in the not so distant future, the only survivors of the apocalypse are a single troop of boy scouts led by an eccentric Scoutmaster. As they soldier on, they try to make a life for themselves in this new world, fight against the cosmic loneliness, and make peace with the talking bears.

Performances Parking & Location

Located at: Jacobs Theatre District

Parking Passes Required for performances:
Monday through Friday evenings and on the weekends. Parking is $1.50 per hour from the vending machines located in the UC San Diego Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse parking lots and entry display case. Please remember your parking space number. You will need it to purchase your parking pass.

Note: Machines take all major credit cards except Discover, and when paying with cash you must use exact change, NO CHANGE GIVEN.


Cars without permits are subject to ticketing by UCSD Campus Police. The Theatre & Dance Department does not have the authority to waive and cannot pay parking tickets.


Wagner New Play Festival 2020 has been CANCELLED due to the potential transmission of Covid-19, or Coronavirus. There have not been any cases of the virus reported on the UC San Diego campus, but the virus is spreading throughout the United States, including in California.

Your attendance is very important to us, but our first priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Sincere apologies for the inconvenience.

Advance tickets for this production are available only online through the "Click here for tickets" button above. You can purchase tickets online on your phone the night of at the theatre.

At-the-Door tickets, if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre’s box office.

You can also leave a message at  858-822-3152 with questions and we will get back to you.

General Admission: $20
UCSD Faculty/Staff/Alumni Association, and Seniors (over 62): $15
UCSD Students/UCSD Alumni Association (with ID): $10

Please note: No late seating; no refunds.


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Tel: (858) 534-3791   Fax: (858) 534-1080