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Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Announces Fall 2020 Season

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Participants Include Dael Orlandersmith, Tovah Feldshuh, Cori Thomas, Kareem M. Lucas, Ren Dara Santiago, Liba Vaynberg, Basil Kreimendahl, and more

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Announces Fall 2020 Season

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater has announced a robust season of programming this fall that highlights necessary theatrical voices while deepening connections between audiences and artists in new and meaningful ways.

In partnership with ALL ARTS, the free broadcast and digital platform dedicated to the arts, Rattlestick, along with seven leading regional theaters, will present the broadcast premiere of Until the Flood from acclaimed writer and performance Dael Orlandersmith. Based on extensive interviews following the 2014 shooting of black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson, this tour-de-force one woman show gives voice to a community haunted by injustice and a country yearning for change. Until the Flood will air November 15, 2020 - Fall 2023.

A reading of Baby Steps will take place on November 17. This funny and heartbreaking monologue, starring Jerod Haynes and written by Kareem M. Lucas, captures the overwhelming and unforgettable emotions that arise when caring for a newborn. At a time when so many Americans are dying, Baby Steps shows how one Black man is trying to figure out how to live.

From December 3-7, cast members and the director of the acclaimed Rattlestick Playwrights Theater production of Lockdown by Cori Thomas reunite for a reading of this searing and beautiful play. Presented in partnership with WP Theater, Lockdown is an authentic, intimate, and powerful examination of what life in prison is really like, and an exploration of the possibilities for transformation through human connection.


Beginning December 7, Rattlestick will present The MTA Radio Plays, a series of 3-10 minute audio dramas created to honor and celebrate the people that keep New York City running. Conceived and curated by playwright Ren Dara Santiago (The Siblings Play) and featuring 16 playwrights, each episode is inspired by a stop along the MTA's 2 Line.

Written by Liba Vaynberg, The Gett: A Young Wife's Tale is a Jewish myth about divorce and how we salvage and recover meaning through profound loss and ancient ritual. This live reading on December 8 is directed by Rattlestick's Artistic Director Daniella Topol and features four-time TONY nominee Tovah Feldshuh, Blake DeLong, Alfredo Narciso, and Miriam Silverman, and is commissioned by Rattlestick, Congregation Beth Elohim, and Brooklyn Jews.

On December 15, audiences will have a chance to meet Rattlestick's Mellon Playwright-in-Residence, Basil Kreimendahl (Orange Julius). Kreimendahl will share his writing and speak with other HOWLROUND playwrights, Madeleine George and Cori Thomas, about the playwriting process.

Throughout the Fall, Rattlestick will continue its popular series of online events including its Community Conversations and Global Gab Series.

Taking place on the second Monday of the month and led by Racial Equity Consultant Samuel Morreale, Community Conversations gather members of Rattlestick's board, staff, artistic community, and audiences to learn together, and to share experiences to collectively practice actively dismantling the racist practices of our art form.

Taking place on the last Tuesday of the month, Global Gab is a monthly cross-cultural conversation produced by the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and New York Theatre Salon. Moderated by Jody Doo and Salma Zohdi, each session features two guest panelists discussing a topic relevant to the international theater community. Arian Moayed and Ty Defoe will be featured on October 27.

Rattlestick also announces two calls for proposals.

With a deadline of November 20, "Me and Black Lives Matter" invites young writers up to 21 years old to submit a piece of theatrical writing of 3 to 5 minutes duration. The piece should address issues of racism in the United States and/or the World. A small group of artists will be invited to receive an honorarium of $100 and have the opportunity to share their work in an online event.

Facilitated by playwright Cusi Cram, "Block by Block" invites playwrights, performers, designers, directors, dramaturgs, and other theater makers to artistically investigate one New York City block. Five artists will be selected to receive a mini-grant of $250 to produce the work. Submissions are due November 20.

More details on the Rattlestick's Fall 2020 season follows and can be found at https://www.rattlestick.org/.

RATTLESTICK PLAYWRIGHTS THEATER'S FALL 2020 SEASON

Until the Flood (2018)

November 15, 2020 - Fall 2023

Written and Performed by Dael Orlandersmith
Directed By Neel Keller

Produced: All Arts and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
In partnership with ALL ARTS, the free broadcast and digital platform dedicated to the arts, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, along a consortium of regional theaters across the country, is proud to present the broadcast premiere of Until the Flood from acclaimed writer and performance Dael Orlandersmith. Based on extensive interviews following the 2014 shooting of black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson, this tour-de-force one woman show gives voice to a community haunted by injustice and a country yearning for change.

On August 9, 2014 Darren Wilson, a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting ignited weeks of social unrest, propelled the activist movement known as Black Lives Matter and prompted a controversial investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.


Traveling to the region a few months after the shooting, Orlandersmith conducted interviews with dozens of people who were grievously shaken by the shooting and its turbulent aftermath. From these intimate conversations, she has created eight unforgettable characters who embody a community struggling to come to terms with the personal damage caused by these complex events. Experienced in performance, these voices offer haunting reminders of America's continuing struggle with racism and justice.

Until The Flood powerfully explores the roiling currents of American history, race and politics that exploded in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri and sent shock waves across the nation.

Joining Rattlestick in celebrating the broadcast premiere are Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Portland Center Stage, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Baby Steps

November 17 at 5pm

Written by Kareem M. Lucas

Performed by Jerod Haynes

In this funny and heartbreaking monologue, starring Jerod Haynes and written by Kareem M. Lucas, during a rare moment of peace, Ike decides to commemorate his newborn daughter being alive for 14 weeks by creating a video for her that captures this overwhelming and unforgettable moment in both of their lives. What begins as a joyful celebration of his daughter's birth suddenly spirals into raw confession of his personal pain that he has ignored in order to focus on taking care of his Babygirl during the global pandemic and the uprising of 2020 in New York City. At a time when so many Americans are dying, this Black man is trying to figure out how to live.

Lockdown

December 3-7

Written by Cori Thomas

Directed by Kent Gash

In partnership with WP Theater

Inspired by her conversations with people serving life sentences at San Quentin Prison, the reading of this searing and beautiful play by Cori Thomas (When January Feels Like Summer) will reunite cast members and the director of the acclaimed Rattlestick Playwrights Theater production. Lockdown is an authentic, intimate, and powerful examination of what life in prison is really like, and an exploration of the possibilities for transformation through human connection.

The MTA Radio Plays

Beginning December 7

Conceived and Curated by Ren Dara Santiago

Written by Dominic Colon, Julissa E. Contreras, Alexander Lambie, among others

Directed by Natyna Bean

The MTA Radio Plays is a series of 3-10 minute audio dramas created to honor and celebrate the people that keep New York City running. Composed by 16 playwrights, each episode is inspired by a stop along the MTA's 2 Line. Each writer has selected a stop along the line and written a piece that reflects their own experience, in whatever style they choose. The MTA Radio Plays was conceived of and is curated by playwright Ren Dara Santiago (The Siblings Play, Rattlestick Spring 2020). These short radio plays will be released in groups of 3-4 episodes, beginning December 7, and will be available on Rattlestick's website as well as various podcast streaming services.

The Gett: A Young Wife's Tale

December 8 at 7pm

Written by Liba Vaynberg

Directed by Daniella Topol

With: Tovah Feldshuh, Blake DeLong, Alfredo Narciso, and Miriam Silverman
Written by Liba Vaynberg, The Gett: A Young Wife's Tale is a Jewish myth about divorce and how we salvage and recover meaning through profound loss and ancient ritual. This live reading is directed by Rattlestick's Artistic Director Daniella Topol and features four-time TONY nominee Tovah Feldshuh, Blake DeLong, Alfredo Narciso, and Miriam Silverman.

De-Mystifying the Playwriting Process with Basil Kreimendahl with Madeleine George and Cori Thomas

December 15 at 5pm

Audiences will have a chance to meet Rattlestick's Mellon Playwright-in-Residence, Basil Kreimendahl (playwright of Orange Julius). Kreimendahl will share his writing and speak with other HOWLROUND playwrights, Madeleine George and Cori Thomas, about the playwriting process.



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