Victory Gardens Kicks Off 2014 IGNITION FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS Today
Victory Gardens Theater presents the 2014 IGNITION Festival of New Plays, including Where Did We Sit on the Bus? by Brian Quijada; Lack and Lack by April Fools (Kristiana Colón & Damon Williams); Sender by Ike Holter; Slingshot by Kia Corthron; Hillary and Clinton by Lucas Hnath; For Tomorrow, Please Prepare by Paul Downs Colaizzo; and Cocked by Sarah Gubbins. The festival will take place today, July 24-27, 2014. The IGNITION festival creates a productive environment for both emerging and established playwrights to explore and develop their new work.
"At Victory Gardens, we bridge communities through challenging, bold, and innovative new plays that are representative of the diverse voices in this city and beyond. So, for the first time since the Festival's inception, we have invited not only writers of color under 30, but have opened our festival to include all playwrights," comments Artistic Director Chay Yew. "IGNITION has consistently been an essential part of Victory Gardens' new play development programming since 2008, and Ignition 2014 will be no exception."
"We are proud to announce our lineup of playwrights for our fourth edition of Victory Gardens' IGNITION Festival of New Plays. With a record of more than 1,000 submissions for our festival this year, we welcome seven remarkable playwrights from Chicago and from around the country. With themes ranging from race to class, gender to gun violence, Ignition will give these veteran and emerging playwrights the opportunity to develop their newest plays," comments Literary Manager Isaac Gomez.
INGITION's seven selected plays will be presented in a festival of readings scheduled for summer 2014 and will be directed by leading artists from Chicago. Following the readings, two of the plays may be selected for intensive workshops during Victory Gardens 2014/15 season, and Victory Gardens may produce one of these final scripts in an upcoming season.
The complete festival lineup is as follows:
Where Did We Sit on the Bus? by Brian Quijada and
Lack on Lack by April Fools (Kristiana Colón & Damon Williams)
Thurs July 24 | 7:00pm | Richard Christiansen Theater
We are starting IGNITION with a bang! Performed back-to-back, this double bill of rap and spoken word performances pieces explore growing up in a world where things aren't always as they seem:
During a 3rd grade lesson on the Civil Rights movement and Rosa Parks, a Latino boy raises his hand to ask "Where did we sit on the bus?" and his teacher can't answer the question. Told through rap, hip-hop, spoken word, and live looping, Brian Quijada's autobiographical Where Did We Sit On The Bus? looks at what it means to be Latino in America.
In their theatrical debut, brother/sister hip hop duo April Fools (Kristiana Colón & Damon Williams) fuse music, spoken word, and humor in Lack on Lack, a journey through Chicago to plan a surprise birthday party for their mother April. Damon and Kristiana navigate the neighborhoods of Chicago, childhood memories, and the turns of their new grown-up relationship in this city of practical jokers.
Thursday July 24 | Victory Gardens Theater Lobby | 9:00 p.m.
IGNITION Festival Opening Night Reception
Sender by Ike Holter
Fri July 25 | 7:00pm | Richard Christiansen Theater
Over a year after faking his death in a sensational fashion, a young man returns to his former apartment: alive, well, and with a new found ambition to fix what went wrong. What starts as a miracle reunion turns into a catastrophic disaster as the past begins to catch up with the present and old debts return, expecting payment in full.
Friday July 25 | Victory Gardens Theater Lobby | 9:00 p.m.
Artist Night: Meet & Greet
Slingshot by Kia Corthron
Sat July 26 | 3:00pm | Richard Christiansen Theater
After suffering a terrible work accident as a result of a negligent manufacturing defect, Malik must live with the inevitable consequences. In a nation where lawsuits have been equated with greed, how can Malik's father Gid attain compensation and justice comparable to human life?
Saturday July 26 | Richard Christiansen Theater | 6:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion | New Plays in Chicago
As one of the leading centers of new play development, Chicago is home to some of the richest and boldest new plays premiering across the country. In a city where audiences are hungry for new theatre work, what is the current state of new play development and its future? What should we be doing more to nurture the artists, audiences and the field?
Hillary and Clinton by Lucas Hnath
Sat July 26 | 7:00pm | Richard Christiansen Theater
In 2008, a woman named Hillary is trying to become the president of a country called the United States of America, but she's not doing well in the polls and needs more money to keep the campaign going. She calls her husband for help and he offers her a deal, but it's a deal that ends up costing a lot more than either of them had reckoned.
Saturday July 26 | Fiesta Mexicana | 9:00 p.m.
IGNITION Festival Cocktail Hour at Fiesta Mexicana
For Tomorrow, Please Prepare by Paul Downs Colaizzo
Sun July 27 | 2:00pm | Richard Christiansen Theater
Racial tensions in the suburban south reach a boiling point when a white student at a public high school in Georgia makes an inflammatory comment during a lesson on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The school's disciplinary process is threatened when hidden agendas are revealed, proving that when it comes to how we should teach our country's racial history, the issue is anything but black and white.
Sunday July 27 | Richard Christiansen Theater | 5:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion | ?From Script to the Stage
From the first draft to opening night, new plays are changing and evolving as new elements are introduced. With IGNITION Festival as a catalyst for developing new work, how does a rehearsal room shift when a living playwright is in the room? What are the best practices and collaborations? How do we better support and produce new plays and playwrights?
Cocked by Sarah Gubbins
Sun July 27 | 6:00pm | Richard Christiansen Theater
Taylor and her girlfriend, Izzie have always been staunchly opposed to gun ownership. But when Taylor's brother shows up unannounced one afternoon, that position slowly corrodes as new discoveries surface and the lines between safety and protection are blurred.
Sunday July 27 | Victory Gardens Theater Lobby | 8:00 p.m.
IGNITION Festival Closing Night Celebration
The IGNITION Festival of New Plays was conceived to support the theater's mission of new plays and diversity. In the spring of 2010, 120 writers of color from around the United States submitted new scripts for the first phase of IGNITION. In its inaugural season, IGNITION developed, premiered and launched both Year Zero and Kristoffer Diaz' The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity onto the American theater scene; both productions have subsequently been remounted at Second Stage in New York City. Victory Gardens produced We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 by Jackie Sibblies Drury and Appropriate By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Other notable IGNITION plays receiving their world premieres include Mala Hierba by VG Ensemble Playwright Tanya Saracho, playing at Second Stage in New York City this summer and Samsara by Lauren Yee, playing at Victory Gardens in the Spring of 2015.
The IGNITION Festival of New Plays receives major support from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and Southwest Airlines, Victory Gardens' official travel sponsor. Berghoff Catering Group is the official catering partner of Victory Gardens.
Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Admission to all festival readings and events is free, though an RSVP is required. For more information or to RSVP, visit www.victorygardens.org/also-playing/ignition/ or call the Victory Gardens Box Office at 773.871.3000.