Live from the Lab

A performance research series, Live from the Lab is a play reading series focusing on works from international playwrights. These grassroots productions led by student initiatives in marketing, production and performance serve as part of a research project led by Assistant Professor Amy Chaffee.

Live from the Lab productions are presented every semester in the Lab Theatre (McWilliams 104) and are followed by a post-reading Q&A with refreshments served. Tickets are free and open to the public!

SPRING 2022 readings:

Successful Life of 3 by Maria Irene Fornes

February 8th, 2022 @ 7:30 pm in the Lab Theatre (McWilliams Hall 104) Moderated by Amy Chaffee and Carolina Caballero, Ph.D.

Theater: A Love Story by Caridad Svich

February 23rd, 2022 @ 7:30pm in the Lab Theatre (McWilliams Hall 104) Moderated by Michaela Brown About the play: “when there’s little time left, what world can we create? What is our theatre? A play-conversation and art installation about love, catastrophe, capitalism and climate grief, and yes, theatre, too. This is a show for everyone who loves theatre and misses theatre but who is sick of theatre industry not living up to all it can and should be. It’s a theatrical experience where you and four actors sort out all that we loved about coming together to tell stories, rage against what’s wrong with everything and rediscover what’s worth fighting for. And when we say “theatre,” we also mean the world.”

Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven by Young Jean Lee

March 8th, 2022 @ 7:30 pm in the Lab Theatre (McWilliams Hall 104) Moderated by Jessica Podewell

About the play: Young Jean Lee’s worst nightmare was to make a predictable, confessional Korean-American identity play with a flowery Asian-sounding title. So that’s exactly what she did. SONGS OF THE DRAGONS FLYING TO HEAVEN follows a character named “Korean-American” as she navigates the increasingly disturbing levels of a pseudo-Korean world like a contestant in an identity-politics video game. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a white couple appears and launches into a dysfunctional relationship drama that eventually takes over the play.

Neva by Guillermo Calderón

March 24th, 2022 @ 7:30 pm in the Lab Theatre (McWilliams Hall 104) Moderated by Monica Payne

About the play: In a gorgeously crafted reflection on life, art and the revolutionary impulse, Chilean writer-director Guillermo Calderón's NEVA tells the story of Anton Chekhov's window, the actress Olga Knipper, who arrives in a cold and dimly lit theater in St. Petersburg in the winter of 1905 to rehearse The Cherry Orchard. As she and two other actors await the rest of the cast, they huddle together, act out scenes from their lives and muse on their art form and on love - while, unseen, striking workers are being gunned down in the streets by the Tsarist regime during what will be known as bloody Sunday. Political and human, haunting and fresh, this smart, thrilling and often humorous ensemble work will envelop you just as you least expect it and stir what it means to create art in violent times.

Survival Manual. Messages in a Bottle from the Beginning of the Millennium by Stefano Massini

April 16th, 2022 @ 7:30pm in the Lab Theatre (McWilliams Hall 104) Moderated by Elena Daniele

About the play: “A sensitive seismograph of new ways of life and cultures that have touched the foundation of our life.” -Casese (referring to the Covid19 pandemic). Massini attempts to explore the accounts of conflicts dealing with a common enemy – Covid19 – and the new emotional and physical limits that have been put on modern life. The author covers moods, fears and glimpses at the shared experience created by the pandemic.

For more information on Live from the Lab (how to get involved or how to see the show), you can email