October 16, 2020

The University of Texas at Arlington’s Maverick Theatre Company presents MOVING FORWARD: A Devised New Work, an exciting new musical theatre piece created in a collaboration between Broadway guest artists and students from the Theatre Arts and Dance department. The show was created and rehearsed virtually over the course of three weeks. Written by the cast, Moving Forward features text and music that reflect the students’ thoughts, concerns, and feelings about witnessing a social movement during a global pandemic.

MOVING FORWARD features members of UTA’s Maverick Theatre Company including: Abby Humphreys, Analisa Salinas, Bridget Andersen, Chyna Dillard, Edward Escamilla, Haley Boswell, Kiara Fletcher, Kobie Jackson, Marissa Nelson, Martina Manquerra, Olamide Oladeji, Sean Solis, and Victoria Gomez.

MOVING FORWARD is directed by Assistant Professor J. Austin Eyer with Austin Regan as Creative Director and Writing Supervisor, Maria Wirries as Creative Director and Music Supervisor, Donald C. Shorter Jr. as Creative Consultant, and Tiffany Tsay as Collaborative Pianist. Scenery and props designed by Ken Ellis, costume design by Laurie Land, light and sound design by Jared Land, editing consultation by Alex Vorse, technical direction by DJ Badon, and stage management by John Valso Lowe

MOVING FORWARD: A Devised New Work will be streamed via Video On Demand from October 23 – 25, 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic. To purchase the Video On Demand rental, please visit our virtual Box Office at

J. AUSTIN EYER (Director - he/him) is a new faculty member and Co-Area Head of the BFA in musical theatre here at UTA. He began his performance career in New York City and appeared in six Broadway shows with stars like Audra McDonald, David Hyde Pierce, Daniel Radcliffe, Nick Jonas, and Ricky Martin. He has been teaching theatre for the past fifteen years at institutions like Penn State and New York University, as well as theatre programs in Germany and Japan. Austin's book titled Broadway Swings: Covering the Ensemble in Musical Theatre was published in 2015 by Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama.


MARIA WIRRIES (Creative Director/Music Supervisor - she/her) spent the last two years in the Broadway company and First National Tour of Dear Evan Hansen. She was born in Haiti and was raised in the United States. She spent her life training as a performer, musician, composer, and a rated competitive figure skater. Maria has premiered original works from jazz pianist and composer Dick Hyman and Canadian-based composer James Grant, as well as her own original music at various venues around the country. You can find some of her work on Spotify. Outside of theater and music, Maria’s other passions include biological sciences and activism for all minoritized communities.


AUSTIN REGAN (Creative Director/Writing Supervisor - he/him) is a New York based stage director and writer. Austin was the associate director for the Broadway productions of Head Over Heels, American Idiot, Everyday Rapture, On A Clear Day… and at the Metropolitan Opera. He was also the associate director of the Drama Desk Award-winning revival of Little Shop of Horrors, which starred Jonathan Groff, Christian Borle, and Tammy Blanchard. As a director his work has been seen across the country with companies like the Minnesota Opera, the Local Theater in Boulder CO, the Hangar Theatre, and Off-Broadway at New World Stages, and Ars Nova. His work as a writer includes Proxy (Underscore Theatre Company) with music by Alexander Sage Oyen, and The Adventures of Pericles (Musical Theatre Factory) with Christy Altomare.


DONALD C. SHORTER JR. (Creative Consultant - he/him and she/her) is a storyteller and uses her personal life narrative to bring awareness to social injustice based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Donald is a former principal dancer with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (2003-2007) and went on to re-stage works for the company at Barnard College, The University of Idaho, and Towson University. He performed in the Broadway tours of La Cage Aux Folles, A Chorus Line, and Hairspray. Donald is the creator/writer/performer of a one-woman show GENDEROSITY, which uses drag transformation to talk about her life as a gender nonconformist.

If you have any questions about this project, please reach out to the director at


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