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Abingdon Theatre Company Announces Finalists for VIRTUAL FALL FESTIVAL OF SHORT PLAYS

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The finalists include Augusto Federico Amador, Alberto Bonilla, Christine Toy Johnson, Nick Malakhow, Alexis Sims, and Marcus Scott.

Abingdon Theatre Company Announces Finalists for VIRTUAL FALL FESTIVAL OF SHORT PLAYS

In this time of change, Abingdon Theatre Company is recommitting to creating opportunities for all voices to be heard. With this in mind, they have announced the finalists of the Virtual Fall Festival of Short Plays! The 2-week festival begins on Monday, October 19th (through October 30) and will shed light on stories by people of color. A diverse panel of judges, theatre professionals who are BIPOC, chose 6 pieces from hundreds of submissions, and these will be directed and performed by people of color and streamed to the public via Abingdon Theatre Company's YouTube channel (here). The winner of the festival will receive a stipend to be used to support further exploration of their piece and will be invited to become an "Artist in Residence" at Abingdon Theatre Company. Abingdon will then also commit to producing the winning piece as part of its "Around the Table" free reading series. Through the outreach, online readings and finally the staged reading of the winning piece, ATC hopes to engage 1500 people of color to create a more diverse environment at Abingdon.

The Festival is free of charge to viewers and is a fundraiser in collaboration with the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF). Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon will present a special video message.

"Congratulations to the Abingdon Theatre Company for the visionary 'Festival of Short Plays'," states Julie Theobald, ETF President. "And thank you for supporting Pathway - racial equity through school theatre - a new program which will help BIPOC students gain access to invaluable mentoring opportunities through their school theatre programs. The Pathway grant program honors the late Craig Zadan, a visionary with a lifelong commitment to addressing issues of diversity. Craig helped make musical theatre more accessible to millions, continually breaking down industry barriers around race and helping many careers. Pathway will enhance the school theatre experience for many students now and in future generations."

"With over 80 plays submitted from around the country, I am thrilled to present these six powerful voices as part of Abingdon's inaugural short play festival," states Chad Austin, Artistic Director. "To be partnering once again, with the Educational Theatre Foundation, in honor of my friend and mentor, the late great Craig Zadan, is a true honor. My hope is to shed light on these stories, and the artists behind them."

"As an immigrant myself, it was crucial to be part of a project that sheds light on BIPOC," declares Beatriz Cavalieri Associate Director of New Works. Abingdon Theatre Company wants to make sure that everyone, but especially people of color, have a chance in the theatre. I am proud to be part of a project that is taking steps to make that happen."

The finalists include Augusto Federico Amador (Screenwriter of 86'd, optioned by Wise Entertainment), Alberto Bonilla (Marvin's Room), Christine Toy Johnson (Come from Away, Nick Malakhow (Writer of Seeing Eye - finalist in the 2018 Latinx Theater Commons Carnaval), Alexis Sims (Matilda - Northern Stage), Marcus Scott (Finalist, Sokoloff Arts Fellowship at Town Stages 2020).

The cast for the plays will feature Andrew Allen, Rin Allen (Cyrano De Bergerac), Kezia Bernard-Nau (Sesame Street 50th Anniversary 'Rock Video'), Denise Blasor (Happy Feet) Danny Bolero (Plaza Suite), David Castillo (Juicy Stories), Jacob Dickey (Aladdin), Jose Febus ("Law and Order"), Brandon Gill (A Christmas Carol), Jeff Gorti (A Chorus Line, Signature Theatre), Rebecca Hirota (Vietgone), Deborah Lew (South Pacific), Esau Mora (Read to Me - Portland Stage), and Reynaldo Piniella (Venus).

The Jury Panel is comprised of Roberto Araujo, Rashad V. Chambers, Deidre Goodwin, L Morgan Lee, Jaime Lozano, Mauricio Martinez, and Juan Villa.

The 6 selected pieces will premiere online as detailed below:

Monday, October 19th @7pm EST

ATACAMA
Written by Augusto Federico Amador
Directed by Sara Guerrero
Cast: Denise Blasor/Jose Febus

Wednesday, October 21st @7pm EST

EMPRESS MEI LI LOTUS BLOSSOM
Written and Directed by Christine Toy Johnson
Cast: Rin Allen/Deborah Lew/Rebecca Hirota

Friday, October 23rd @7pm EST

THE INVITATION
Written by Alberto Bonilla
Directed by Adrian Alea
Cast: Danny Bolero/Esau Mora/Andrew Allen

Monday, October 26th @7pm EST

SUNDOWN TOWN
Written by Marcus Scott
Directed by Rebecca Clark
Cast: Reynaldo Pinella/Brandon Gill

Wednesday, October 28th @7pm EST

COIN TOSS
Written by Alexis Sims
Directed by Chari Arespacochaga
Cast: Jacob Dickey/Kezia Bernard-Nau

Friday, October 30th @7pm EST

A PICTURE OF TWO BOYS
Written by Nick Malakhow
Directed by Justin Lucero
Cast: David Castillo/Jeff Gorti


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