SMU graduates' play to premiere in New York

"Morbid Poetry" will open on Sept. 29 and run through Oct. 1 in New York City. It is based on poems by SMU alumna Christin Siems and will be directed by SMU alumnae Molly Murphy and Amelia Peterson.

By Joe Richardson
The Daily Campus

Whenever you worry about your future after graduation, remember Christin Siems, Amelia Peterson and Molly Murphy.

Christin Siems, a graduate of SMU, is taking her poems to New York City. This will not, however, be a reading in a dark, smoke filled cafe while bongos beat out solemn rhythms and people snap their praise.

"Morbid Poetry" is a brand new play based on Siems' poems, and it will open on Sept. 29 and run through Oct. 1.

The new show is also being directed by two SMU graduates, Molly Murphy and Amelia Peterson.

"I've known Christin's plays and her poetry from when she was writing and performing them at SMU," Murphy said. "I've always been a big fan of her writing and have great respect for both her person and her artistry."

According to Murphy, "Christin has always wanted to see if the poems could be made into a play and we felt like we [Murphy and Peterson] were the team to do it."

The former Mustangs are working with the Incubator Arts Project based in New York City. Siems, Murphy, and Peterson were given a residency for the fall as a part of the Project's New Performance Series.

But this will not be the trio's first rodeo.

Siems' other plays, "Lisa Frank Virginity Club," "This Play is Not About Werewolves" and "Cold Soup" have been produced in Brooklyn, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

Murphy has worked for theaters and venues like Signature Theater Company, the Apollo Theater and the Dallas Theater Center. She is currently a director operating out of Harlem.

Peterson has directed plays in California, New York, and Washington, D.C. She is now the Associate Artistic Director of Firebone Theater in New York City.

Samantha Kindler, who is producing the play, was contacted by Murphy and Peterson through a mutual friend. The recent graduate of Tufts University was interested in producing plays in New York. After accepting the offer, Kindler read the poems. For her, they were "just the icing on the cake."

She said that "Morbid Poetry" has received a lot of buzz around the SMU community. "This is a unique show because the majority of our creative team is from the same school and have been working together for years which I think has really driven the excitement from SMU," Kindler said.

But the three will not be the only Ponies hitting the "Big Apple." Lauren Hayden and Erin Frisbie, two other SMU alumnae, are starring in the production. "They are both incredibly talented actors," Murphy said. "Smart, generous and brave- the kind of actors SMU is famous for."

Murphy hopes that the play will be enjoyable for everyone.

"The writing speaks to a latent adolescence — a mourning for lost childhood even into your mid twenties," she said. "I think everyone can identify with the pangs and outbursts of transitioning from one identity to another. Growing is painful and funny at its core — people of all ages can relate to that."

She went on to say that the teachers, students, and campus life at SMU inspired her and had a huge impact on her life.

"You take your life with you wherever you go," she said. "And the people from SMU are always with me — still teaching me how to be a better person and artist."

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