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Sundance makes its way to theater

December 24, 2013

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Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute has been known throughout the years as a vehicle for avant-garde films. Thought-provoking, envelope-pushing films have been on the menu of the annual film festival that also showcases star-studded galas.

The institute, however, has a lesser acknowledged initiative for plays and musicals. But now, Sundance is growing its influence in the world of theater. Just like in film, it is encouraging the same unconventional thought concepts. The institute has been increasing the number of workshops and labs on offer every year, helping artists explore beyond formulaic stories.

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The Sundance Theater Program, as explained by the organizers, is not competition-based. This means that all of the participants’ creativity is focused on the outcome rather than on jockeying to get seed funding for their own work. Sundance helps in the creative process, aiding writers and directors on polishing up their plays and musicals. Sundance also encourages and allows professional theaters to showcase these works.

Eleven plays made it through the process. Headlining 2013’s batch are “Fun Home,” a musical that follows the tale of a gay father’s suicide; “Appropriate,” a play about grown-up children who discover photos of lynching at their late father’s Southern plantation; and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” a musical tale of an Englishman who commits murders to gain a family inheritance.

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Louis P. Habash has over two decades of theater experience as an actor. Visit his Google+ account for select updates on theater productions.


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