May 08, 2014
Ryan Oliveira
Directed by: 
Marina Johnson
Theatre B
Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 5:30pm
Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 9:00pm


Link to a Daily Iowan article.

Link to a Daily Iowan photo essay.

A young woman tries to re-connect with her boyfriend by playing Swords and Stones (an online role-playing game), only to discover their growing disconnections to each other.  When his video game temptations turn to real-world disasters, she must re-connect with herself and beat the real world and the video game on her own merit…and with a little help from a new friend. Swordplay takes place in the digital and real world. Which is more real? How are our relationships informed by our digital and personal interactions? Is reality broken?


Serah Caitlin Dorsett
Robert Adam Phillips
Cage Christopher Matheson
Draco Jacob Hicks

Taylor Stuart

Rubina Vidal

Artistic Team

Playwright Ryan Oliveira
Director Marina Johnson
Dramaturg Sarah Johnson
Scenic Designer Kevin Dudley
Costume Designer Angie Esposito
Lighting Designer Lucas Ingram
Sound Designer Rob Bergenstock
Stage Manager Rachel Winfield
Assistant Stage Manager Bre Anna McNeill

Swordplay contains partial male nudity, strong language, violence, and sexual content that may not be suitable for all viewers. Parental guidance is advised.

Ticket Information

Tickets for UI Theatre Gallery productions are $5 for non-students and free for UI students (with a valid ID). They are available one hour before show time in the Theatre Building lobby or during special Theatre Building Box Office hours between 12:00-1:30pm on May 5 and May 6.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Department of Theatre Arts at 319.335.2700.

Cast Bios

Caitlin Dorsett (Serah)
Caitlin is thrilled to be sharing the stage with such talented, big-hearted friends. Besides theatre, she spends her time lindy hopping and acting as playwriting editor for earthwords: the undergraduate literary review. She would like to thank her family for their unconditional love and her roommates for their support over such a trying year. Leeeeeeeeeeroy Jenkins!

Adam Phillips (Robert)
Adam is in his third year at the University of Iowa and is very happy to be joining the crazy cast of Swordplay. His previous work at the University has included Pocketful of Sand, Pvt. Wars, and She Stoops to Conquer. He would like to thank the Sony Playstation for teaching him everything he knows about video games. 

Christopher Matheson (Cage)
Christopher is super excited to be working in the University of Iowa New Play Festival for a second time. He's also excited to be working with Ryan once again. His previous credits at the University include Trouble; A Foot (Jazz), Desire Caught by the Tail (Tart), Puddin' (Will), and Saudades (Chance). He'd like to thank his splendiferous cast mates for being so awesome, Marina and Ryan for this opportunity, and Rachel and Bre Anna for being great!

Jacob Hicks (Draco)
Jacob is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work with such a wonderful team and an incredibly talented cast. This will be his debut role on the University of Iowa stage and he couldn't be happier if it were with any other show. Past credits would include The Miracle Worker (James Keller), Julius Caesar (Octavius), Almost Maine (Steve), Yesterday (Nate), as well as some very important roles in several different films such as guy #2, random pedestrian, and un-credited. Jacob would like to thank his friends and family for their support as well as his professors that have helped guide him to where he is today.

Taylor Edelle Stuart (Ensemble)
Taylor is extremely ecstatic about her second production at the University of Iowa. She is a first-year undergraduate student studying theatre arts and cinema. Taylor made her debut in Theatre at the University of Iowa with Makeover, as an ensemble member. Taylor would like to thank her family for their faith in her dreams.

Rubina Vidal (Ensemble)
Rubina is a freshman this year and proud to be a part of the theatre arts family! You may have seen her at the university in Room-Heart (Shadow 2) or Makeover (Ensemble). Rubina is so excited to be the menacing creatures of Swordplay! She would like to thank the cast and crew for making this show an unforgettable experience. She thanks you for coming and hopes everyone enjoys the show! “Lets a Go!"

Artistic Team Bios

Ryan Oliveira (Playwright)
Ryan is a second-year MFA playwright originally from Miami, FL. He recently had a production of Dogs in the Debris as part of Theater Masters in New York City. His play, The Rigel Event, was a semi-finalist for the 2014 O’Neill Theatre Conference. He has collaborated with performance artist Tim Miller on Exhibit Q at the New Museum in New York City and will be participating in the Disquiet Conference in Lisbon, Portugal this summer. Thanks, Peter.

Marina Johnson (Director)
Marina is an MFA director who hails from Pennsylvania where she was Artistic Director of Cresson Lake Playhouse and taught theatre/directed at Altoona Area High School. Her previous UI credits include: Dreams I Have About Killing My Sister and Fur, and Absurd Person Singular (assistant director). She would like to thank Ariel, Nina, Mario, Eric, and Alan for all of their support, Rob for all of his love, and her amazing team for all of their hard work and a fantastic experience. 

Sarah Johnson (Dramaturg)
Sarah is currently a third year dramaturgy MFA candidate at the University of Iowa, where she has been the dramaturg for Pocketful of Sand, half sick of shadows, Ondine, RED//a thing about the heart, and A Hamlet. Before Iowa, she spent a year in Japan, seeing theatre and teaching English. Previously, she was a Directing and Dramaturgy Intern at Portland Stage. She received her BA in both Theatre and Anthropology from The University of Denver.

Kevin S. Dudley (Scenic Design)
Kevin is a first year graduate student with a primary emphasis in scenic design and a secondary emphasis in lighting and projection design. He holds a BFA in Scenic Design from the University of Utah. Kevin created lighting and set designs for the Iowa MFA Directors’ first projects last fall and designed the sets for Absurd Person Singular this spring. He has designed for several companies in the Salt Lake, Utah market. He co-founded South Jordan Community Theatre, in Salt Lake County, where he served as the resident designer and technical director for 5 seasons and over 20 productions.

Angie Esposito (Costume Designer)
Angie is a first year graduate costume designer. She received her BFA in Theatre from Florida International University. Prior to attending University of Iowa, she was a freelance costume designer in the South Florida area. Her most recent designs include: Pocketful of Sand, The Playwright, and 1000 Years.

Lucas P. Ingram (Lighting Designer)
Lucas is a first year MFA design candidate. His work has been seen in Quiet, Witches; Fur; The Playwright; Pvt. Wars; and Desire Caught by the Tail here at the University of Iowa. He was Assistant Lighting Designer for Slaughter City, and also the Assistant Lighting and Projection Designer for Water by the Spoonful. In the past, his work has been seen at Lehigh University in The Laramie Project as Lighting Designer, and Oleanna.

Rob Bergenstock (Sound Designer)
Rob is originally from the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania. He holds a BA in Theatre from Lock Haven University, and has previously worked as a Technical Director at Civic Theatre of Allentown and The Historic Mishler Theatre in Altoona. He has also done freelance technical work for Altoona Area High School, Cresson Lake Playhouse, Allentown Public Theatre, and Muhlenberg College. He is thrilled to be working on yet another show with his better half and beloved teammate (not to mention fiancé), Miss Marina Johnson.

Rachel Winfield (Stage Manager)
Rachel is currently working towards her MFA in stage management at the University of Iowa and has most recently stage managed Absurd Person Singular at the university. Rachel received her BA in Theatre Arts at Santa Clara University and has spent most of her career working in California. Last summer she worked as a Stage Manager for the Livermore Shakespeare Festival and before that was the Company Stage Manager for Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre in Pleasanton, CA. Some of her favorite experiences include work on The Liar, RENT, Legally Blonde the Musical, Twelfth Night, and The Secret Garden.

Bre Anna McNeill (Assistant Stage Manager)
Bre Anna is a second year theatre student at the University of Iowa. She is excited to be able to assistant stage manage Swordplay during New Play Festival for her first time as an ASM. She would like to thank the stage managers who mentored her throughout this production and for being kind and patient with her throughout this experience. She would also like to give appreciation to the creative team and cast of Swordplay.

New Play Festival Information

Link to the New Play Festival homepage.