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The Fulton Announces STORIES OF DIVERSITY Schedule

Plays selected include voices from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, and religious and economic diversity.

The nationally regarded Fulton Theatre announces the schedule of its inaugural in person playwriting festival. "Stories of Diversity," July 16 - July 18, 2021.

The festival will feature three distinct and diverse plays that will engage the Lancaster community in much needed conversation. The lineup includes FOR COLORED BOYZ on the verge of a nervous breakdown/ when freedom ain't enuff, L'Hôtel, and Lev of Leningrad. Tickets are FREE to the community, but a reservation is required.

Submissions were open to playwrights throughout Lancaster County and beyond, with dozens of plays submitted by playwrights throughout the United States, the winning playwrights derive from California, Texas, and Pennsylvania.

Plays selected include voices from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, and religious and economic diversity. A team of over 30, including the newly formed Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility (IDEA) Committee, read the plays in three qualifying rounds. The audience and a panel of judges will select the winner of the inaugural new works festival.

The winner, announced soon after the festival's close, will be professionally produced by the Fulton as part of a future Groff Studio Series production in the Tell Studio Theatre during a future season. The winner will also receive a cash prize. Festival Casting is by Joseph Abramowicz.

FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2021 - 6:00 PM

FOR COLORED BOYZ on the verge of a nervous breakdown/ when freedom ain't enuff

By Bryan-Keyth Wilson

A collection of poems telling the stories of black men from slavery to the present. This composition examines the dark realities of what it means to be a man of color in America. Wilson's work delves into

issues such as toxic masculinity, homophobia, systematic racism, mental issues, and police brutality. While there's no linear narrative each poem is weaved together through music and dance making this piece a choreopoem. The choreopoem is performed by five nameless men only represented visually by their colors. They are The Man in Black, Man in Red, Man in Green, Man in Orange and Man in Blue. Other subjects examined in this choreopoem include colorism, racial stereotypes, the black family and politics. By the conclusion of Act II, walls are broken, and each man on stage takes a new right of passage giving reverence to the ancestors and affirming the bond of brotherhood is what they need to move forward in this world.

SATURDAY, JULY 17, 2021 - 10 AM

Lev of Leningrad

By Noah Schoenberg

Lev of Leningrad tells the tale of Lev Furman, immigrant extraordinaire.

Lev's story begins when he accidentally becomes a Jewish "refusnik" in the former Soviet Union at the age of 26. 14 years later, Soviet authorities finally grant Lev and his young family an exit visa to leave the Soviet Union. Lev's troubles surprisingly continue in the United States as he learns to cope with his family's successful assimilation into American culture, especially his younger daughter Karine who challenges Lev's understanding of gender and authority.

Throughout his adventures, Lev retains his sense of humor and faith that all will work out - with assistance from Philadelphia's Finest and other friends.

Sunday, July 18, 2021 - 10 AM

L'hôtel

By Marisol Medina

A dark comedy about a modern American woman and her religiously conservative, Cuban-born mother. During a hopeless attempt at a bonding trip to Paris, the mother's greatest fear, a terrorist attack, traps the women in their luxury hotel room with a handsome and helpful Algerian-Parisian bell boy; causing the women's fluctuating morals, misleading prejudices, violent need to survive, and closely guarded secrets to come to light.

The reading will be directed by Nadia Guevara. Guevara is an award-winning actor, director, producer, and arts administrator. She currently serves as Director of Arts Engagement and member of the Literary Advisory Board at GALA Hispanic Theatre in Washington, D.C where her pandemic project Leyendo con GALita has garnered over 40,000 views.

The Festival kicked off digitally on the Fulton's FultonHD platform on May 21, 2021 for World Diversity Day. The playwrights recorded a moderated panel discussion of what to expect from their plays, and in partnership with McCaskey High School Campus Theatre and Dance program, students from this award-winning program presented music, dance, spoken word and visual art as a reflection on the beauty and diversity of our community. These programs are still available for viewing on FultonHD.org.

The Fulton is grateful to the Festival Sponsors, Lancaster County Community Foundation, and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health for their support for this necessary initiative. In addition, the Fulton is grateful to Highmark Blue Shield as the Festival Education Sponsor.

Tickets are FREE by calling the box office at 717.397.7425 to reserve your tickets. Guests must pick up a festival pass at the Fulton Box Office between Monday, July 12 and Thursday, July 15.

"We are proud to partner and support the Diversity Playwriting Festival as a way of creating important space for new and underrepresented voices to be amplified and elevated. We believe Lancaster County is stronger when every voice is heard and every resident is safe. Our community is only extraordinary when every family, neighbor, and friend is respected," says Sam Bressi, CEO of Lancaster County Community Foundation.

Marc Robin, Executive Artistic Producer, stated, "The Fulton Theatre has always been a gathering place for the community. The programming needs to reflect the diverse makeup of Lancaster. We hope by taking this necessary step of increasing the opportunities to foster stories of diversity, that the entire community feels included at the Fulton Theatre, their home for the performing arts."

Eric Pugh, the Fulton's Marketing Director, and the Festival's Producer, stated, "Over the course of the past year, the Fulton has taken great strides, with much to be done, in removing barriers for any community member to not feel welcome at the Fulton. We were elated with the amount of submissions for this first year, and the selections represent a spectrum of diverse stories. We look forward to growing the festival in the future."

In June 2020, the Fulton Theatre made a promise to the Lancaster Community to be a change agent and to help amplify the diverse voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, the LGBTQ+, and other diverse groups. The recently appointed IDEA Committee and the "Stories of Diversity" Playwriting Festival are our first steps to fulfilling that promise.



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