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The Playwrights Realm Announces 2021 PLAY-A-THON

The Realm presents short plays by Sarah Einspanier (March 15), Eliana Pipes (March 16), Mike Lew (March 18), Jessica Huang (March 22), James Still (March 23) and more.

The Playwrights Realm Announces 2021 PLAY-A-THON

As partying in an event space with hundreds of fellow supporters of a non-profit organization doesn't exactly make the list of Things to Do in New York During a Pandemic, The Playwrights Realm has embraced the moment's necessitation of virtual forms to turn fundraising into something more engaging: a short play marathon, with works performed by generous participants and their friends and families, near or far. The Realm's Play-A-Thon, returning March 15-25 following its success in 2020, creatively activates the potential of virtual gathering to bring people together in direct engagement with the work of some of today's most captivating writers. For this event, The Playwrights Realm (Founding Artistic Director Katherine Kovner and Producing Director Roberta Pereira) presents short plays by Sarah Einspanier (March 15), Eliana Pipes (March 16), Mike Lew (March 18), Jessica Huang (March 22), James Still (March 23), Emma Goidel (March 24), and Idris Goodwin (March 25). The 2021 Play-A-Thon is sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

As artists' livelihoods were threatened by the pandemic, the Playwrights Realm in 2020 committed to becoming a full-time playwrights' service organization until audiences could reconvene in person. Play-A-Thon inventively helps support the playwrights involved directly as well as The Realm in its many initiatives serving playwrights and other theater artists. These include: Emergency Relief Funding (a financial relief program for playwrights who expressed need); the International Theatermakers Award (which provided free-of-charge legal assistance and application fees to five International Artists applying for O1-B visas); the online mentorship program Virtual Realm; free online community classes, workshops, and panels led by The Realm's playwrights, staff, and industry professionals; and the continuation of its long-running Writing Fellowship and Scratchpad Series. Last year's Play-A-Thon reached an international audience of nearly 100 donors, and The Realm hopes to introduce its work to an even larger supportive community via the 2021 Play-a-Thon.

For Play-A-Thon, participants were instructed to select one offering from a list of curated 10-minute plays (or to commission their own). A handpicked group of their family and friends worked with The Playwrights Realm to record their 10-minute plays over Zoom. On their respective "opening nights," The Realm will host a Zoom party for all guests to premiere the video of the play and then do a talkback with the cast of family and friends. The Realm will pay playwrights for the plays featured-and Einspanier will be paid for a new commissioned work.

Short Play Descriptions and Schedule

Admission for one household to tune into all of the Play-A-Thon virtual readings is $100. Each reading will be followed by a special Q&A with cast members.

No Big Deal by Sarah Einspanier

Monday, March 15th at 7:30PM

Commissioned and performed by Board Member Ella Foshay and Friends

Ellie is super into Michael and his Halyard N95 FLUIDSHIELD mask. However erotic issues arise when he finally removes it. A sneak peek inside a zoom couples therapy session.

A Fly on the Wall with the Mona Lisa by Eliana Pipes

Tuesday, March 16th at 7:30PM

Performed by Board Member Esther Rosenberg and Friends

Get to know the fly who lives on the surface of the Mona Lisa, and thinks that it's famous. As patrons come to the museum, hoping to come face to face with a historic work of art - instead our Fly friend has to come face to face with their self-esteem.

Performance Review by Mike Lew

Thursday, March 18th at 7:30PM

Performed by Board Chair Mindy Stern and Jim Burnham

Your boss doesn't think you're taking working from home seriously enough so they've sent your own kid to find you.

The Woodland Creatures are Having a Party by Jessica Huang

Monday, March 22nd at 7:30PM

Performed by Jamie Drake and Friends

The humans have gone inside- which is both exciting and ominous- so Raccoon, Fox and Badger gather to celebrate/commiserate/distract themselves/blow off steam/await the wise Moose who will surely know what to do. It's all very civilized... until a game of chase is proposed.

THEM/US (a friendly ghost story)

by James Still

Tuesday, March 23rd at 7:30PM

Performed by Board Member Norma Rosenberg and Friends

Set in a dark theater that's been closed for months, a group of ghosts while away their lonely days and nights without an audience but everything changes when they see something in the very back row of the theater.

This Is the Story of How You Were Born by Emma Goidel

Wednesday, March 24th at 7:30PM

Performed by Wendy Abt

The story of how you were born is like a horoscope for your life. I know you are only just a baby, but do you know what is a horoscope? Do you know what is... a bathtub? (With permission from the playwright, this play has been cut to accommodate the constraints of this presentation.)

A Dinner Theatre by Idris Goodwin

Thursday, March 25th at 7:00PM

Performed by Board Member Daniel Cohen and Friends

A family gathers again on a seemingly mundane day, but once the question "so did anything interesting happen today" is posed, we are reminded of each day's potential for amazement. However, one of the four is convinced they are all exaggerating, sticks to their guns that NOTHING exciting happened today and goes to great lengths to disprove their wild claims.


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