Pellissippi State’s ‘Something Old, Something New’ pairs classic, original one-acts

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When Clifford Odets wrote “Waiting for Lefty” in 1935, the American playwright was aiming for something revolutionary.

One of two one-act plays featured in Pellissippi State Community College’s upcoming theatrical production “Something Old, Something New,” the Odets work is, indeed, a prime example of “revolutionary” or “agit-prop” theatre. The latter term is a combination of “agitation” and “propaganda.”

“It was written, essentially, about the Depression—about what people were going through in the Depression,” said Charles Miller, who directs “Something Old, Something New” and the college’s other theatrical productions. “It’s an American classic.”

The play is scheduled for April 5, 6, 12, and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and April 14 at 2 p.m. The performances take place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus.

“Waiting for Lefty” is based on a 1934 strike of unionized New York cab drivers. Presented at the height of the Great Depression, the original 1935 production was a critical and popular sensation.

For the upcoming play, Miller has paired “Waiting for Lefty” with a dark comedy—an original world premiere by North Carolina playwright Stephen Barry Delaney called “Psycho Anal Isis.”

Pellissippi State’s Theatre program frequently performs new plays, says Miller, creating a rare venue for emerging works, while also presenting classic and contemporary drama from throughout the U.S. and the world.

“Something Old, Something New” is part of Pellissippi State’s arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State.” The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

Cost of admission is $8-12. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at Ticket Turtle:

For additional information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or