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OCU goes ‘Out There’ on theater collaboration

Oklahoma City University will stage a play Nov. 10-13 as part of a collaborative playwright and production project involving two other universities.

“Put Yourself Out There” by Deneen Reynolds-Knott will be performed at 8 p.m. Nov. 10, 11 and 12, with a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 13 in the Black Box Theatre in OCU’s Kirkpatrick Fine Arts building. Tickets are $5 and are available at okcu.edu/tickets or by calling 405-208-5227.

OCU’s School of Theatre was selected as one of three schools around the country to take part in the College Collaboration Project with the Farm Theater.

In “Put Yourself Out There,” a lonely grad student visits their undergraduate alma mater to see their college friends, a mix of other alums and current undergrads. Expectations of a happy reunion are challenged as the group grapples with differing views of the past and present. The play explores graduation as the ultimate test of college bonds.

The Farm Theater is a nonprofit organization that supports the development of early career artists. For the College Collaboration Project, the theater commissions a playwright to develop a play with groups of students from three different universities. Each university involved in the process stages the play one at a time, and the playwright revises the script between productions.

Oklahoma City University is the first on the list this year. Theatre major Elise Bear is directing the show.

Reynolds-Knott, a Brooklyn-based artist who holds an MFA in film from Columbia University, began collaborating in the spring semester with each university’s students via video conference to work on the script, then wrote and workshopped it over the summer.

Other universities participating are Centre College in Kentucky for a second staging in February, and Furman University in South Carolina for the third installment in April.

About Deneen Reynolds-Knott:

Reynolds-Knott has developed work with several theater organizations. Her full-length play “Baton” was selected for the 2018 Premiere Play Festival and received a workshop reading at Premiere Stages, the 2017 Playfest at the Orlando Shakespeare Company, and was a finalist for the 2017 PlayPenn and Bay Area Playwrights conferences. She participated in the writing residency at Liberation Theatre Company and Project Y’s Playwrights Group in 2018.

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