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Touchstone Theatre Announces Annual Fresh Voices Showcase Featuring Touchstone/moravian University Mfa Class Of 2023

Fresh Voices runs June 3 and 4, 2022.

Touchstone Theatre's Fresh Voices returns to premiere original devised works on June 3 and 4, 2022.

Fresh Voices has been a staple of Touchstone's apprentice program, which has fostered more than 70 theatre artists over the last 20 years. This season marks the third year of Touchstone's partnership with Moravian University, converting the longstanding apprenticeship into an MFA-granting program.

The Fresh Voices showcase performance annually gives Moravian University/Touchstone's student apprentices an opportunity to explore and create their own solo and ensemble-based original performance works. This year's Fresh Voices features two short solo theatrical pieces (15 minutes each), one longer group-devised film (45 minutes), and one visual gallery experience, all with a PG-13 advisory rating. An intermission will be included between the theatrical pieces and the film screening.

"Fresh Voices is a remarkable performance every year," says Touchstone Ensemble Member Emma Ackerman, "Our MFA class has really explored their ideas with grace and intelligence in their art-making, and we're so excited to share what they've been working on."

The first piece of the evening is Krystal Danielle's Up in Smoke, a first-person recount of her journey of embracing her naturally curly hair. Up in Smoke explores society's representation of beauty standards for Black women. While paying homage to society's perception of what beautiful hair looks like on a Black woman, Danielle explores the true meaning behind embracing what it means to love and appreciate your hair in its most natural of states.

Second is Robert Mills' Snapshots of Noir, a theatrical tribute to the classic film noir genre. Robert's performance delves into the human psyche, small town living, and murder, while delivering speeches from iconic noirs such as The Night of the Hunter, M, Shadow of a Doubt, and others.

Following the two solo performances is a showing of the group-devised film created by and featuring Sam Thompson, Robert Mills, and Krystal Danielle. The abstract film titled 3 explores the concepts and questions of our identities - asking who we are and who we could be.

In addition to the above events, in the Touchstone Theatre's Sala X room is Sam Thompson's body_of_work, a visual gallery consisting of 180 original pieces of abstract digital art, original music, and projections. The gallery will be open during intermission and after the Fresh Voices shows on the 3rd and 4th, as well as open with free admission to the public Saturday, May 28 through Thursday, June 2, from 6-9 pm.

Touchstone has set health and safety guidelines this season to help keep patrons and performers safe during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Precautions include reduced capacity, universal masking for everyone in the audience, and a requirement to show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test from within 72 hours. All performers and company members are fully vaccinated. Patrons are encouraged to read up on the full details of Touchstone's COVID-19 policy at touchstone.org.

Touchstone's season is sponsored by Astound Broadband. Media sponsorship is provided by WDIY, and print sponsorship is provided by Working Dog Press. Touchstone is also generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Fresh Voices runs June 3 and 4, 2022. Tickets are pay-what-you-will, with a suggested donation of $10. For more information about the event, ticketing, and safety protocols, please visit touchstone.org



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