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Crossroads Theatre Company's Genesis Festival Of New Plays Streams Next Week

The festival features three pre-recorded readings along with a live Q&A with each playwright.

Crossroads Theatre Company's Genesis Festival Of New Plays Streams Next Week

Crossroads Theatre Company's Genesis Festival of New Plays will stream over several virtual platforms at 7:00 p.m. (EST) April 14 - 17, Crossroads and partner Hi-ARTS announced.

The events are part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance's The Stages Festival, the state's largest annual theatre festival, which provides free and discounted theatre events for all ages throughout the months of March, April, and May. The Genesis Festival of plays is offered free of charge.

"The Alliance is grateful that Crossroads Theatre Company is participating in the 2021 Stages Festival," said John McEwen, Executive Director of the Alliance. "For more than 20 years, The Stages Festival has provided theatrical experiences for thousands of residents across New Jersey. While we may be gathering a bit differently this year, we are thrilled that theatre can remain a source of connection and joy in the Garden State. These efforts would not be possible without the wonderful help of partners such as Crossroads Theatre Company," McEwen added.

In the spirit of bringing folks together to enjoy an evening of creativity and great theatre, Crossroads teaming up with Hi-Arts will offer Genesis to the widest audience ever! Events can be accessed from the Crossroads and Hi-ARTS websites ( and and YouTube channels and Facebook Live platforms.

The 2021 Genesis Festival of New Plays is a playwright's laboratory experience that consists of three pre-recorded readings that also include a live Q&A with each playwright. The plays being featured will spotlight the works of Katie Madison (Sun Songs and Taking Space), Zhailon Levingston (The Hole,) and Ernie de Silva (Smoke). Genesis Festival kicks off on Wednesday, April 14 with a conversation with the playwrights moderated by Crossroads Co-Founder Ricardo Khan and Aaron L. McKinney, Hi-ARTS Interim Executive Director. Each event runs for about one hour.

"A crucial pillar in Crossroads' mission is to support the work of new and emerging Black and Brown voices as they create and develop new work for the American theatre," said Khan. "Partnering with Hi-ARTS on this year's festival is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight other early-career artists as well," Khan added.

The new plays featured stand true to the Crossroads' legacy of storytelling that highlights issues and starts conversations across ethnic, racial, and cultural spectrums. "Hi-ARTS is proud to partner with Crossroads. We are aligned in our mission to support emerging and early-career artists of the Global Majority in the development of new theater and performance work," said Hi-ARTS' McKinney. "Our artists are addressing key issues of equity and social justice that impact the community-at-large, communities of color, and communities like East Harlem, NY and New Brunswick, NJ. This is important now more than ever."

All events begin 7:00p.m. (EST) are pre-recorded and run for approximately one hour. A LIVE Q&A using questions submitted by the audience closes each event. Genesis Festival events will be accessible online only through April 24.

Wednesday, April 14: Festival Kickoff - A LIVE conversation with all playwrights, moderated by Crossroads Co-Founder Ricardo Khan and Aaron L. McKinney, Acting Executive Director of Hi-ARTS.

Thursday, April 15: Sun Songs and Taking Space by Katie Madison - Performance excerpts from Sun Songs and Taking Space. Katie is currently a Hi-ARTS Critical Breaks artist in residence where she is working on the development of Sun Songs, a new musical work where suns, stars characters, and bodies explore their relationship to the natural world to investigate where they are in hopes of understanding where they're going. Taking Space is a musical theatre piece about Black Queer Humans exploring the anxiety, depression, and trauma for being Black Queer Humans learning to "take" space, to make space, to break through and reshape space for Me and You.

Friday, April 16: The Hole: A New American Play by Zhailon Levingston explores the relationship and personal struggles of two inmates in solitary confinement. The play explores the illusions, memories, nightmares, dreams, and delusions of two inmates locked in 'the hole.'

Saturday, April 17: Smoke by Ernie De Silva is Madison - a solo-driven story about an artist who finds himself in the middle of a battle for control of his creative voice. One voice is of the spirit of one of his ancestors (Smoke) who is haunting him. The other is of a modern-day pharmaceutical the artist is purposely taking to forcefully lock up his creative voice.

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