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Page 73 Announces 2021-2022 Programming Featuring MAN CAVE, LA RACE and More

Page 73 firmly holds their core mission of developing sustained relationships with playwrights and seeing their work through various phases across the company’s programs.

Page 73 Announces 2021-2022 Programming Featuring MAN CAVE, LA RACE and More

Page 73 has announced plans for returning to production, with John J. Caswell, Jr.'s Man Cave, directed by Taylor Reynolds, and Bleu Beckford-Burrell's La Race. Launch: A Docuseries will spotlight the playwrights and trace Page 73's process of mounting these two works amidst the obstacles and surprises of live theater's gradual return. As performance moves back into theater spaces across the next year, Page 73 firmly holds their core mission of developing sustained relationships with playwrights and seeing their work through various phases across the company's many programs: both playwrights have been Page 73 Playwriting Fellows, have received Summer Residencies with the company, and have been members of the Interstate 73 Writers Group.

As Page 73 takes the precautions necessary to present a live audience-facing production of Man Cave in early-to-mid 2022 and La Race later that year, they will introduce the docuseries in monthly installments, expanding on the work they started with their Time Capsule, which offered candid glimpses into the lives of theater artists through the hardships of the pandemic. While that project drew on the keen observation of playwrights to create a virtual record of experiences from the very heart of the pandemic, the docuseries-directed, filmed, and edited by Fernando D. Maldonado-aims to capture an emergence and a path forward, embracing the fact that so much of what that looks like remains unknown. Episodes of the docuseries will range in length-moving from intimate portraits of the playwrights (working remotely with Page 73 staff) and their processes into in-person rehearsals and production, and introducing new characters along the way as more and more collaborators join in.

Says Page 73 Artistic Director Michael Walkup, "There's no denying the uncertainties ahead of all theater companies-nor the possibilities for transformative work coming out of our collective pause. Page 73 is inspired, with all this unknown, to stay focused on the ultimate production of two big plays we've seen through many phases of development. Both Bleu and John are incisive observers of the world around them. I can't wait for audiences to get to know them through this docuseries-to witness the ways they and their collaborators shape these plays in one of the most challenging moments the industry has experienced."

Man Cave centers around Imaculada and a group of friends she's gathered in the fortress-like mansion belonging to her absent employer, a wealthy Republican Congressman living high on a hill in Sedona, Arizona. Together they convert his luxurious basement man cave into their own spiritual war room and protective sanctuary from the violence of men, both real and supernatural. La Race follows protagonist Maxine, who while grappling with personal and professional setbacks, is pushed by her best friend to run for local office in Far Rockaway. As Maxine and her unconventional election committee navigate race, identity, and gentrification along the trail, a campaign that began as a distraction turns into a mission of vital importance to Maxine and her community. Between the claustrophobic setting and macabre humor of John J. Caswell's play and the panoramic realism and keen observation of Bleu Beckford-Burrell's, these two works showcase theater's ability to channel vastly different styles in creating complex characters, capture a deep sense of place, and vividly illuminate the social structures underlying it.

Not long after two recent Page 73 productions-Michael R. Jackson's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Strange Loop (co-produced with and presented at Playwrights Horizons) and Zora Howard's STEW-garnered immense critical and audience acclaim, the pandemic struck; continuing on the same course became, for all of theater, an impossibility. Despite disruption, Page 73 decided to focus on their fundamental aim of supporting groundbreaking playwrights whose voices the New York theater community at large has yet to hear. Through programs including Interstate 73, the Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship-which the company also doubled this year to include two playwrights (Bleu Beckford-Burrell and Emma Goidel, returning for another year following her 2020 fellowship)-its ongoing series of 11-day playwright virtual residencies and New Play Conversations, and a new initiative offering playwrights self-directed writing retreats, Page 73 has helped playwrights ready work for a time when audiences return to theaters. The organization last year launched their Time Capsule, a collective journaling project, giving playwrights the opportunity to detail this moment for later reflection. The Time Capsule will be unlocked in five, and again in ten, years.

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