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Road Theatre Company Presents Twelfth Annual Summer Playwrights Festival

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Over 200 writers, directors, actors and technicians have volunteered their time to present 26 plays over the span of three weekends.

Road Theatre Company Presents Twelfth Annual Summer Playwrights Festival

THE ROAD THEATRE COMPANY have announced the Twelfth Annual Summer Playwrights Festival returns to its online format making new plays more accessible than ever.

Over 200 writers, directors, actors and technicians have volunteered their time to present 26 plays over the span of three weekends.

Executive Director Tracey Silver reveals "After receiving hundreds of play submissions, we are excited to share with you our audience SPF 12! We will broadcast 26 plays, a wide range of different stories, over the course of three weeks. And while we are so close and excited to get back into our theatre in North Hollywood, we are grateful this new virtual format has allowed us to reach a much wider audience across the country. With that in mind, please join us July 15 to August 1 to celebrate the new works of each of these playwrights. See you at the Festival!"

Taylor Gilbert, Founder and Artistic Director, recalls the very moment the festival launched in 2010: "It's just an idea" said Scott Alan Smith, Associate Artistic Director Emeritus, "Let's start a playwrights festival!" We said "Sure, why not?" From the up close and personal in our theatre, to going online and intimately into your virtual devices, we are excited to bring you our 12th Summer Playwrights Festival. So sit back, get comfortable and enjoy the ride".

Artistic Director, Sam Anderson, reflecting on the process: "Following the great success of the Road's first virtual Summer Playwrights Festival last year, with an audience of over 18,000 viewers from six continents, The Road team realized SPF 12 planning needed to start early, and indeed it has. Led by Executive Festival Director Tracey Silver, the company and invited guests began reading potential plays in late 2020. The entire Road company served as readers, as well as volunteer guest readers, carefully combing through over 600 entries of new full length and one-act plays, and winnowing down the finalists. In addition to quality, the search included ever-increasing inclusion of BIPOC writers, parity for male and female playwrights and a determination to bring the best new and returning voices to this celebration of creativity and connection to the entire country".

STREAMING SCHEDULE:

WEEK ONE - JULY 15 TO JULY 18

Thursday, July 15 6:00PM PT

ORIGIN STORY by Nathan Alan Davis

Directed by Joanie Schultz

A play about work, debt, race, friendship, drive-thru windows, and a very very big, very very sudden, existential crisis.

Friday, July 16 6:00PM PT

HERE IS WHERE by Vasanti Saxena

Directed by Jully Lee

In the aftermath of 9/11, two sisters receive an unexpected package that brings them to the intersection of their uncertain present and their grandmother's past in wartime Nanjing.

Saturday, July 17 2:00PM PT

STUCK WITH FRED by Timothy Nolan

Directed by Taylor Nichols

Hilly wants a friend, needs a friend, but the best she can do is Fred... thirty years older, irascible in the extreme, in poor health and a fellow recovering alcoholic. He's not an easy friend. But neither is she. When his health takes a turn for the worst and his brother shows up to run interference, she finds out just how much of a friend he is.

Saturday, July 17 6:00PM PT

MODERN MINSTRELSY by Kermit Frazier

Directed by Gregg T. Daniel
On a hot August night in a predominantly white community on Long Island, NY, a Black man shoots and kills a white teenager who with three friends has been chasing in their car that man's 20-year-old son. That shooting triggers not only charges and a trial but also the "re-surfacing" of Nig and Jig, two timeless Black American and Irish American figures, who are locked in a seemingly never-ending struggle for agency, place, and point of view in their country's history and psyche.

Sunday, July 18 2:00PM PT

M-THEORY: a play told in 11 dimensions by Jami Brandli

Directed by Ann Hearn Tobolowsky

The near future. Former biographer Pauline Grey has shut herself and her daughter Ava away in a remote cabin in Angeles National Forest for nearly a year. Pauline will not let Ava go until she has the answers she is desperately seeking. But when a solar flare storm hits, cutting the women off from communication with the outside world, and a downed pilot appears at the cabin asking for help, Pauline's reality is challenged in more ways than one.

Sunday, July 18 6:00PM PT

FIVE ONE ACT PLAYS:

THE PEACE OF HOME by Mildred Inez Lewis

Directed by Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx

Quarantine forces two lovers to confront the cost of peace in their home.

HOW GRANDMA MET THE RAT PACK by Greg Tulonen

Directed by Bruce Katzman

In a quiet bar, an aging flibbertigibbet recounts her (possibly apocryphal) celebrity encounters with each member of the Rat Pack. Her stories are met with encouraging acceptance from her granddaughter (who is also the bartender), and deep skepticism from her grandson, who has come to believe that his grandmother is either confused or lying.

OUR LADY OF BROAD STREET by Jane Denitz Smith

Directed by Susan Vanita Diol

It's almost time for the grand old hotel's gala reopening. But when an inexplicable stain appears on a lobby wall, a young architect is forced to question her life-long assumptions about what is--and what might be.

INTERVIEW WITH A CAT by Jim Geoghan

Directed by Stewart J. Zully

Jim Geoghan's cat Shadow has spent thousands of hours teaching him the ups and downs of cat care and Jim has learned nothing.

50 LOVE LETTERS by Mercilee Jenkins

Directed by Emily Jerez

What should an older woman do with 50 letters from her first love? She could burn them, bury them, float them out to sea or take them on a trip and discover they're true, after all these years.

WEEK TWO - JULY 22 TO JULY 25

Thursday, July 22 6:00PM PT

EARWORM by Shualee Cook

Directed by Ken Sawyer

Five people have five different reactions to a punk rock breakup song. Now the Song wants to know why.

Friday, July 23 6:00PM PT

STOOP PIGEONS by Christin Eve Cato

Directed by Bruce A. Lemon Jr.

Stoop Pigeons takes place in the early/mid-2000s when the Bushwick area of Brooklyn experienced rapid gentrification. We witness what happens in the span of a decade: how the culture of the neighborhood changes, how it affects the people who inhabit it, and how it forgets about those who sacrificed for it.

Saturday, July 24 2:00PM PT

THE BIG RED NAUGAHYDE BOOTH (OR, WOULD-BE ELKS) by Jennie Webb

Directed by Laura Stribling

A comedy about negotiations, acceptance and belonging, The Big Red Naugahyde Booth (or, Would-be Elks) tracks the cocktails and confessions of a group of women who regularly meet to drink and dish. But on this particular evening of excess, a girls' night out becomes a surreal exploration of female bonds in a changing world.

Saturday, July 24 6:00PM PT

REFUGEE RHAPSODY by Yussef El Guindi

Directed by Risa Brainin

Sakinah, an Arab American woman, undergoes a mental health evaluation to determine what led to the violent crime she committed against Emily, a rich heiress. The play explores race, class, privilege, and how those factors collide and play out in today's culture.

Sunday, July 25 2:00PM PT

FAMILY TREE by Erin K. Considine

Directed by Lauren Patrice Nadler

Isabella is losing herself to Alzheimer's. Her communication comes in repetitive stops and starts, leaving her children to untangle the roots of their past in order to make some weighted decisions about their future. Is a fresh start possible when old growth has been gnarled and broken away?

Sunday, July 25 6:00PM PT

WAITING FOR GODÍNEZ by Daniel A. Olivas

Directed by Sara Guerrero

Each night, immigration officials kidnap Jesús and throw him in a cage with the intent of deporting him. But each time, Jesús escapes and makes it back to the city park to be with Isabel to wait for the mysterious Godínez. Inspired by Beckett's iconic Godot play but with humor deeply steeped in Latinx culture, Waiting for Godínez explores the meaning-and absurdities-of identity and belonging.

WEEK THREE - JULY 29 TO AUGUST 1

Thursday, July 29 6:00PM PT

DAY OF SATURN by Leviticus Jelks

Directed by Melissa Coleman-Reed
For Achilles Jones, the reality of his son, Icarus', attempted suicide still haunts him a year later as he works tirelessly to repair his run-down hardware store alongside a charismatic young volunteer with a painful past of his own. Soon the secrets about Achilles' son and the truth about their relationship come to light in this planetary collision of loss, humor, Black masculinity and the generational scars that follow us through life.

Friday, July 30 6:00PM PT

BELOVED by Arthur Holden

Directed by Cameron Watson

Dorothy and Stephen, married co-owners of a failing business, are shocked to discover that their teenaged son has committed a disturbing crime - and they're devastated when they learn why. In three successive waiting rooms, accompanied by three young women, Dorothy and Stephen must decide what truly matters as they struggle to chart a better future.

Saturday, July 31 2:00PM PT

THE OUTSIDE WORLD by Dayenne C. Walters

Directed by Dan Martin

The Outside World is an immersive multimedia play about a young mother's fight to save her family's life, after her untimely death, and her eight-year-old son, whose emotions and feelings manifest in a superpower kind of synesthesia ("The Noises," as his family calls them)-cacophonous sounds and music that his father is trying to help him suppress.

Saturday, July 31 6:00PM PT

THE SWEATER CURSE Book, Music & Lyrics by Scooter Pietsch

Directed by Adam John Hunter

Warning! Knitting is bad for your relationship! Find out why when Charlotte knits her boyfriend an intricate Norwegian sweater. Is their love strong enough to survive a gift of such power, weight, and accountability?

Sunday, August 1 2:00PM PT

BURST by Rachel Bublitz

Directed by Christina Carlisi

Sarah Boyd is going to save the earth from our self inflicted plastic disaster. The only thing standing in her way is the truth.

Sunday, August 1 6:00PM PT

FIVE ONE ACT PLAYS:

CENSUS by Susan Miller

Directed by Abigail Deser

When Jacob, a newly assigned census taker, makes a home visit to Gloria and attempts to get clear answers to the standard questions on the government form he's been issued, Jacob discovers that the objective facts he's seeking are not always so, as Gloria peels back the layers and confronts him with a different reality. That she is Black and he is white complicates their encounter in unexpected and mysterious ways.

MEDUSA DOES A RE-DO by Angela J. Davis

Directed by Inger Tudor

After three thousand years as the reviled monster with snakes on her head, Medusa persuades Athena that it's time for a re-evaluation. A play in verse for a new universe.

THE SECRET KEEPER by David Meyers

Directed by Oran Zegman

Creative Consultant, Fazeelat Aslam

Ahmad is the groundskeeper at a cemetery in Afghanistan. When a local mother visits the cemetery, she befriends Ahmad and unearths a troubling secret that unites them both.

THE RESTAURANT PLAY by Scott Gibson

Directed by Darryl Johnson

An innocent question posed at the start of a family dinner leads to a variety of unexpected conversations, confessions and one or two life-changing decisions. Also, there are brussels sprouts.

AFTER THE DELUGE by John Patrick Shanley

Directed by Tracey Silver

The story of two New York women arguing and grieving and recovering from the pandemic. Their clash raises sparks, conjures magic and comedy, and perhaps suggests a way forward in these fraught times.

Learn more at www.roadtheatre.org.


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