by Shrewd Productions
Sep. 10 - Sep. 25, 2025
When Skip Powers realizes that no one will ever love him, he volunteers to go to Mars -- and the Principal of NASA says, "Yeah, sure. You'll do." Skip isn’t close to his family, hasn’t had ANY luck with dating, and isn’t interested in participating in the gene pool – making him the perfect candidate for NASA to send millions of miles on a solo mission from which he will, likely, never return. After disheartening experiences on gay hookup apps, he's more than prepared for training with the Abstinence Coach -- but a little less prepared when the Love of His Life tries to keep him on earth. This play about what it means to attempt to live your life in the pursuit of great things spans a million years and fifty-five million miles.
Small Steps deals with the themes of isolation and loneliness in our modern world, and the search for connection. It's particularly resonant now as we all cope with these issues in a Covid-dominated world, and is the perfect vehicle to address the trials, tribulations, and bravery involved when being alone isn't a choice.
Written by Briandaniel Ogelsby - Directed by Lilli Lopez
Shrewd Productions presents the World Premiere of local playwright, Briandaniel Oglesby's SMALL STEPS, in cooperation with Ground Floor Theatre and with the generous support of Scriptworks.
Directed by Lilli Lopez, SMALL STEPS features company member Matrex Kilgore as "Skip Powers", with Shrewd's own Hayley Armstrong, Trey Deason, Shannon Grounds, and Eva McQuade, and newcomer Kyle Irion, composing the ensemble. Lighting Design by Patrick Anthony, sound design by Malyssa Quiles and Michael Galvan, costumes by Pam Friday, and props by Cortney DeAngelo will bring the world of NASA, Riverside California, and the spaceship Atlantis to life.
SMALL STEPS blasts off September 10th, and runs through the 25th at Ground Floor Theatre, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 5pm.
About the Playwright
Briandaniel is a mixed-Latino LGBT playwright based out of Austin and Sacramento. He writes plays for both teens and mature audiences. His play Small Steps was developed at the JAW Festival and Playwrights' Week at the Lark. His play Halfway, Nebraska was developed at Playwrights’ Week at the Lark, and went on to win the award for Outstanding Playwriting from the New York International Fringe Festival. His play She Gets Naked in the End received the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Latinidad Award, and he is a three-time National Finalist for the festival for his short work. He frequently develops his plays-for-teens with a group of teenagers, using devising techniques and kinesthetic dramaturgy. For ten years, he was Literary Manager for Barnyard Theatre, a company he co-founded that produced new work in a historic dirt-floored barn. He has an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California at Riverside and a second MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin.
About the Director
Lilli Lopez is a director, performer and producer from Texas. Lilli is known for her direction and performance in Latinauts: Improvised Telenovelas, a 2019 Austin Critics Table Award winner and 2017 B. Iden Payne Awards (Outstanding Improv Production, Outstanding Cast [Improvised Show], and Outstanding Direction. Lilli has collaborated with several Austin theater companies as a producer, director, actor and teaching artist including the Paramount Theater Story Wranglers, ColdTowne Theatre, and The Vortex. She has also produced several sold out mainstage shows and festivals including Futurx Festival and BettyFest. She has a Masters of Mass Communication from Louisiana State University.
About Shrewd Productions
Championing unique perspectives and emerging artists, Shrewd Productions is focused on women's voices, new plays, and work developed through a collaborative artistic approach. We are committed to creating high-quality theatrical experiences that are thoughtful, provocative, and entertaining, featuring the work of women, LGBTQ, and BIPOC artists as we seek to provide a broader array of voices in American theatre and for Austin audiences.
Shrewd has been honored with over 80 nominations and multiple awards from the Austin Critics Table, B. Iden Payne Committee, Broadway World, among others, and inclusion on multiple “Best Of” lists in the Austin Chronicle. Now in our 17th season, we are proud to be a member of the Austin New Works Theatre Community, building Austin's professional theatre community devoted to the development of original work.
by Brian Oglesby
979 Springdale Rd
Austin, TX, 78702
September 10 - 25, 2021 at the Ground Floor Theatre.
POSTPONED due to COVID.