UTNT Presents “River City” Feb. 16-25

River City
By Diana Grisanti
Directed by Lydia Nelson and Rudy Ramirez

February 16, 22, 24, 25 at 8:00 p.m.
February 19 at 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Lab Theatre

Tickets for UTNT productions are $10 per performance and may be purchased at the Winship Box Office beginning 90 minutes prior to curtain.


About the play
Shaken by her father’s death, Mary sets off to uncover three generations’ worth of family secrets buried in the West End of Louisville, Kentucky. River City charts Mary’s journey, which spans four decades, and investigates race, memory, and the ghosts that haunt one American city.

This play is approximately two hours and includes one intermission.
There is no late seating for River City.

UTNT (UT New Theatre) is curated by Steven Dietz and Katie Bender.

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For additional information, call 512-471-5793

About the playwright

Diana Grisanti
is a writer, performer, and activist from Louisville, Kentucky. She is the inaugural recipient of the Marsha Norman Spirit of Achievement Lilly Award. She was a nominee for the Wasserstein Prize and a runner-up for the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Award. Currently, she is a Core Apprentice at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. Her short play POST WAVE SPECTACULAR was produced in the 2010 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. She has been a finalist or semi-finalist for the Lark Playwrights’ Week, the New Harmony Project, and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Diana’s adaptations of 1,001 NIGHTS and ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND were commissioned and produced by Walden Theatre, a conservatory for young actors. Her musical RICHIE FARMER WILL HAVE HIS REVENGE ON DURHAM (written with the fabulous composer/lyricist Matt Schatz) was Best of Fest in Austin’s Frontera Fest. She is a peer educator for UT’s Voices Against Violence, a group dedicated to using theatre as a means for creating dialogue around intimate relationship violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Before relocating to Texas, Diana lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where she worked as a teacher and translator.

About the directors

Lydia Nelson is a Ph.D. student in PPP. She is from Massachusetts and has a B.A. in History and Creative Writing from Western Kentucky University and an M.A. in Communication (focusing on Rhetoric and Performance Studies) from Arizona State University. She has been involved in theatre, art, forensics, and community work since childhood, and is especially committed to making history accessible to the public through performance. Her research begins from the assumption that history acts as epistemology; thus far, her work is grounded in queer, feminist, and public sphere theories as well as bricolage and Verfremdungseffekt. She examines the performative legacies of the absence/presence of archives and public memory as well as the ways in which citizenship is discursively and materially constructed and performed. Past research and performance projects include work on HPV discourse, slaughterhouses, and the 19th century bicycle craze. Her thesis, “(They Say You’re) Nothing But a Womanizer, Woman-Womanizer: Sensemaking, Uptake, and Citizenship in the Public Passing of Murray Hall,” examined the posthumous narration, claiming, and sense-making of the life of a Tammany Hall politician and passing woman. This project also culminated in a solo performance including a self-made film and first attempt at stop motion animation.

Alexandro (Rudy) Ramirez is a Ph.D. student in the PPP. He is a writer, director and performer based in Austin, TX, specializing in the creation of new solo and collaborative work. He has created two full-length autobiographical performance pieces, PROMISED LAND: A RADICAL QUEER REVIVAL (2009) and FOOTNOTES FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T SPEAK SPANISH (2011, performed with Beliza Torres Narváez), and has performed solo pieces with Spike Gillespie’s THE DICK MONOLOGUES (2007-2009) and YOU’RE WHAT’S WRONG WITH AMERICA (2011), as well as at numerous venues around Austin. He is the performance director for The Austin Bike Zoo, with whom he has created WHEELS OF WONDERLAND (2009) and AN ODDITY ODYSSEY (2010). He is a member of The Vortex Repertory Company, with whom he has directed LEAR (2011) and THE PHYSICISTS (Summer Youth Company, 2011), as well as originating roles in THE SECRET LIVES OF THE INBETWEENERS (2009) and SARAH SILVER HANDS (2011). Additional directing credits include THE HISTORY OF THE GARDEN (2003) and GETTING OFF: STORIES OF SEXUALITY AND CONSENT (2004), created with the Rhizome Collective, THE EMMA GOLDEN PROJECT (2007), created for Radical Encuentro, LUNA TART DIED (2008, co-written with Laura Freeman), THE 999 EYES FREAK SHOW (2008 touring season), SPIT (Frontera Fest Short Fringe Wild Card Selection, 2010), and short and full-length productions of Trey Deason’s CARDIGAN, (Frontera Fest Short Fringe Best of Week 2010, Long Fringe 2011). Additional acting credits include FOOD/NO FOOD ([humdrum collective], 2007), FERNANDO AND THE KILLER QUEEN (2009) and RE: PSYCHE (2010).

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