Furnace Festival Presents Four Incendiary New Plays
The Center at West Park will present four workshops of new plays at the Furnace Festival this August. The Furnace Festival is a workshop for developing "hot new plays, fresh from the oven." These plays, which include Little Lives by Shara Feit, [Un]Earthed by Lavinia Roberts, Tokophobia by Jenny Bokoch Gillett, and And the Trees Fall Down by Viviana Prado-Núñez, ask questions like "What does it mean to create life?" and "How do we prepare when the storm comes?"
In Little Lives, the new trainee is at the Women's Care Crisis Pregnancy Center is learning the ropes, the protestors are stationed outside, and the abortion clinic next door is selling damnation. Then everything changes. In Feit's two-part drama, two staffs of diametrically opposed women reckon with the true cost of fighting for life. The cast includes Lily Santiago, Ann Arvia, Molly McAdoo, and Caroline Hewitt, and is directed by director Kyle Brown. Performances August 3rd and 4th at 8pm.
In [Un]Earthed, A group of survivors are considered lucky when they find themselves in a refugee camp after the destruction of the planet. But in the struggle to build a new life, Myra and her father have to find a way to pick up where they left off on Earth. How will they thrive when all they've known is lost in order to begin again? Directed by Michael Padden. Performances August 10th and 11th at 8pm.
Tokophobia explores our culturally created fear of pregnancy and birth. Based on a series of verbatim interviews with mothers, birth partners, and medical professionals, the play gives voice to women and their experiences in a way that is imperative but rarely discussed in our current cultural climate. Written and produced by Jenny Bokoch Gillett. Featuring Qianna Brooks, Kathleen Fletcher, Marissa Ontiveros, Giverny Petitmermet, Myra Thibault and Erica Winn. Directed by Arielle Sosland. Performances August 17th and 18th at 8pm.
And the Trees Fall Down is set in Puerto Rico two months after Hurricane Maria. A brother, a sister, and a tree guy gather at Abuela's house for a Thanksgiving dinner of vodka, birthday cake, and an elegiac kind of nostalgia. This play promises to be a hilarious and heartbreaking portrait of people and places left behind: of trees, tractors, generators, aftermath, and how some people live with it (or don't). Performances on August 24th and 25th at 8pm.
The Center at West Park, the host and presenting organization for the festival, is a home for arts, culture, and community in the landmark West Park Presbyterian Church on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. The Center offers programs to develop and present diverse, engaging, and boundary-pushing performances while stewarding the restoration of the church's historic edifice. In addition to the Furnace Festival, the Center's programs include the Object Movement Puppetry Festival and the Arts Leaders Fellowship Program, and more performance residencies to be announced soon. The Center is also the creative home for numerous performing arts companies, including Noche Flamenca, On Site Opera, and the Russian Arts Theater and Studio.
The Furnace Festival is curated and produced by Arts Leadership Fellows Jessica Dyer and Madelyn Paquette. All performances are 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights from August 3rd through the August 25th. All tickets are currently on sale for $10 each and include a free cold beverage. The Center at West Park's Balcony Theater is located on the second floor of the historic landmark West Park Presbyterian Church at 165 W 86th Street in Manhattan, entrance on Amsterdam Avenue. Subway: 1 train to 86th St. The Balcony Theater is not wheelchair accessible. Please visit www.centeratwestpark.org for more information.
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