CENTERSTAGE Commissions MY AMERICA, 50 Monologues by 50 American Playwrights, 9/28
CENTERSTAGE announces its electrifying, one-of-a-kind artistic initiative, MY AMERICA-50 new monologues by 50 of America's leading and emerging playwrights, all filmed by award-winning filmmaker Hal Hartley. The films will debut at the theater on September 28, and begin a staggered release online at www.centerstage.org/MyAmerica, culminating on Election Day, November 6th.
An exploration of the state of the country through the eyes of its playwrights, MY AMERICA writers were asked to explore the question "What is my America?" With responses ranging from the political to the personal, this collection of monologues captures a snapshot of the nation, the people and communities that make it what it is today.
A key piece of Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah's mission at CENTERSTAGE is to open the theater to the development of new works and new voices. Himself a playwright, this project seeks to introduce Kwame-and Baltimore-to the breadth of voices in American Theater through artistic conversation.
"Part of my vision as Artistic Director is to make CENTERSTAGE a catalyst for engaging artistic and civic conversations," says Kwei-Armah, an international playwright himself. "MY AMERICA lends a voice and a platform to the current voices in American Theater and allows them explore who we are as a country. We are thrilled to debut this new project, which will undoubtedly help bring CENTERSTAGE into the national spotlight."
Filmed by Possible Films, led by award-winning director Hal Hartley, this collection of original monologues includes writers ranging from Christopher Durang, Marcus Gardley, and Quiara Alegría Hudes to Neil LaBute, Anna Deavere Smith, and Lynn Nottage. Among the actors filming the monologues are Tracie Thoms (Rent), Carrie Preston (True Blood), Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn (Lost), Bobby Cannavale (Nurse Jackie), and theater favorites Kathleen Chalfant, Jefferson Mays and Kristine Nielsen.
The filmed monologues will be showcased online and at the theater, beginning with the premiere on Friday, September 28, at 7 pm. The premiere-part of 50 Fest, a four-day celebration kicking off CENTERSTAGE's 50th Anniversary Season-will debut select videos and live readings, as well as conversations with some of the playwrights, and a post-performance celebration.
Tickets are available online at www.centerstage.org, or by calling the Box Office, 410.332.0033. Following the premiere, the videos will be available online at www.centerstage.org/MyAmerica, released weekly in groups leading up to the November 6 election.
MY AMERICA is supported by Lyn and Tony Deering and The Charlesmead Foundation. 50 Fest is supported by Constellation Energy.
CENTERSTAGE, the State Theater of Maryland, celebrates its 50th Anniversary Season in 2012-13. The professional, nonprofit company serves as a local hub and national leader for provocative, entertaining theater and as a catalyst for conversation in the community. Each year, a broad range of productions in two intimate performance spaces attracts a highly diverse audience of more than 100,000 people-including more than 8,000 fiercely loyal members. Under the leadership of acclaimed playwright, actor, and director Kwame Kwei-Armah (Artistic Director) and national arts leader Stephen Richard (Managing Director), CENTERSTAGE enters its 50th year with a renewed dedication to the production of world-class theater in the heart of Baltimore.
CENTERSTAGE's 50th Anniversary is made possible by DLA Piper, M&T Bank, The Rouse Company Foundation, T. Rowe Price and the T. Rowe Price Foundation, Ellen and Ed Bernard, Stephanie and Ashton Carter, James and Janet Clauson, Lynn and Tony Deering and The Charlesmead Foundation, Terry H. Morgenthaler and Patrick Kerins, Judy and Scott Phares, and Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Smith; with additional support from Kathi Hyle; and season media partners Maryland Public Television, The Baltimore Sun, WYPR, and WBAL.
CENTERSTAGE is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to non profit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.