SEATTLE, WA – The Hansberry Project, in a joint venture with eSe Teatro, SIS Productions and Pratidhwani, will host “Represent!: A Multicultural Playwrights’ Festival” July 19-24. The festival will feature staged readings of new 3 full-length plays, an evening dedicated specifically to showcasing the work of six very talented local writers and a panel about the role of ethnically specific theatres in the development of new work.
According to Hansberry Artistic Director, Valerie Curtis-Newton, “We have always been clear that the work of the playwright is central to all that we do. They are theatre’s true generative artists. Their vision, passion and craft call the rest of us to the process. The Hansberry Project is in committed to doing whatever we can do to support them. Last, year, we took a huge step forward – commissioning our first play. This year, we are showing support for playwrights by hosting our first new play festival. eSe Teatro, SIS Productions and Pratidwhani have accepted our invitation to join us in making a space for playwrights of color to be heard. We’re very excited by the energy that is being generated by this new collaboration. Our hope is that REPRESENT! will become an annual event. ”
A local writers’ showcase kicks off the week. The playwrights whose work will be included are: LaChris Jordan, Reginald A. Jackson, Danielle Villegas, Lonnie Tristan Renteria, Kathy Hsieh and Maggie Lee.
The heart of the REPRESENT! is a series of full length readings by some of the most exciting playwrights on the national scene. The selected plays are:
THE FINAL DAYS OF NEGROVILLE by Keith Josef Adkins
directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
Built largely on the success of its Black middle class inhabitants (doctors, lawyers, school administrators), Negroville is fraught with dysfunction – loneliness, infidelity, and a loss of history. Over the course of a single day, the town’s well-educated African-American mayor, Cornell Gates, is caught in a series of events that challenge the truth about the town’s history and forever change the future for this set of middle class African-Americans. Presented by The Hansberry Project.
THE LAND OF CORN AND POWER by Joann Farias
directed by Arlene Martinez-Vickers
Jeff, second generation Mexican-American, gives up his Law degree for Anthropology and a trip to Guatemala to study the Mayan’s religious believes. This study will initiate a journey of transformation, not only for Jeff, but also for the Mayan shamans he comes in contact with. This insightful text by Joann Farias explores the effect that two colliding cultures can have on each other, in this age of globalization. Presented by eSe Teatro.
SAMSARA by Lauren Yee
directed by Agastya Kohli
When American couple, Katie and Craig, make a last-ditch effort to create a baby of their own, their quest leads them to India to “rent” a surrogate. A hilarious, unsettling look at whether we can truly achieve intimacy in the face of shrinking worlds and expanding boundaries. Presented by SIS Productions and Pratidhwani
The festival will close with a conversation entitled REPRESENTING: Ethnically-Specific Theatre in the 21st Century. Valerie Curtis-Newton, Kathy Hsieh, Danielle Villegas, Arlene Martinez-Vickers and Agastya Kohli will discuss the role of ethnically specific theatre in the development of new work.
All events will take place in the Bullitt Cabaret at ACT Theatre. Tickets are $5 for individual events/$15 festival passes are available online at http://www.acttheatre.org, or at the ACT Theatre Ticket Office at 700 Union Street, open daily M-F from 12 noon until 7 p.m., (206) 292-7676.