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Victory Gardens Theater's IGNITION Festival Continues Through 8/12

Victory Gardens Theater Artistic Director Chay Yew and Executive Director Jan Kallish announce the new plays selected for the company's 2012 IGNITION Festival. The selected plays are: Seven Spots on the Sun by Martín Zimmerman; The Shotgun Message by A. Rey Pamatmat; Samsara by Lauren Yee; Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Dr. Ali Goes Native by Yussef El Guindi. VG Playwrights Ensemble Member Marcus Gardley will join the selected group as a Playwright-in-Residence. Gardley will spend his time researching and drafting his upcoming play Chicago is Burning.

The third IGNITION Festival will create a productive environment for both emerging and established playwrights of color to explore and develop their new work. The five selected plays will be presented in a festival of readings scheduled between July 29 – August 12, 2012. The plays will be directed by leading artists from Chicago. Following the readings, the plays may be considered for further development and possible production at Victory Gardens Theater.

"IGNITION has been an essential part of VG's new play development programming since the first festival in 2008 and IGNITION 2012 is no exception," said Director of New Play Development Geoffrey Jackson Scott. "One of the goals of any new play festival is to cultivate and develop relationships-artist to artist, artist to audience and artist to institution-and development takes time. So we've expanded the festival from one week to two to offer increased time and attention to the work of this incredible group of artists and to offer more opportunity for them to engage with each other and with our city. Add to this the inclusion of Marcus Gardley, on board for the full length of the festival to work on his upcoming world premiere Chicago is Burning, and you'll see that this is a real growth year for IGNITION."

The two-week schedule for the festival of public readings follows:
Week One: July 29 – August 5, 2012
Friday, August 3 at 7:00pm
Seven Spots on the Sun by Martin Zimmerman

Saturday, August 4 at 3:00pm
Samsara by Lauren Yee

Saturday, August 4 at 7:00pm
The Shotgun Message by A. Rey Pamatmat

Week Two: August 5 – August 12 2012
Friday, August 10 at 7:00pm
Dr. Ali Goes Native by Yussef El Guindi

Saturday, August 11 at 7:00pm
Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

There will not be a public reading of Marcus Gardley's Chicago is Burning.
Additional IGNITION events will be announced online,

IGNITION, one of Victory Gardens' most daring new play development projects, was conceived to support the theater's mission of new play development and diversity. In the spring of 2008, 120 writers of color under 40 years of age from around the United States submitted new scripts for the first phase of IGNITION. The top six plays were then selected, workshopped and presented as staged readings in a successful weeklong festival later that same summer.

In its inaugural outing, IGNITION developed, premiered and launched both Michael Golamco's Year Zero and Kristoffer Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity onto the American theater scene; both productions have subsequently been remounted at Second Stage in New York City. The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, written by Kristoffer Diaz, received the 2011 Obie Award, the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Off-Broadway Play, the National Latino Playwriting Award, six Jeff Awards and a nomination for the Drama League's Distinguished Production of a Play award. IGNITION also introduced the widely produced Year Zero by Michael Golamco, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them by A. Rey Pamatmat, and the recent world premiere of We Are Proud To Present A Presentation… by Jackie Sibblies Drury. IGNITION continues Victory Gardens' core mission of presenting new plays that reflect and speak to diverse communities in Chicago and throughout the country.


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