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WP Theater Announces 2020-2021 Season

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The season includes Ole White Sugah Daddy, Final Boarding Call, Lockdwon, The Nourish Project, Galatea, and Weightless.

WP Theater Announces 2020-2021 Season

WP Theater has announced their 2020-21 Season, which will continue to lift up the work of Women+ theater artists in creative new ways that reflect these unprecedented times. The full programming details and timing of events in 2021 will be announced at a later date. All events are free. Access to the events require a reservation at www.WPTheater.org.

"This Season our work is more focused, plentiful, and innovative than ever­ - the WP virtual stage is humming with monthly presentations of brilliant new work, an immersive virtual experience, a filmed rock opera, expanded artistic development, timely conversations, a social media campaign for voting rights, an exiting new program for young Women+ theatermakers, and more," says Producing Artistic Director Lisa McNulty. "In this year of change, we are focusing on supporting our extraordinary community of Women+ theater artists - a community that has made WP Theater a national powerhouse since 1978. We are so pleased to be partnering with our extraordinary colleagues at The American Theatre Wing, AYE DEFY, Ma-Yi, viBe Theater Experience, Rattlestick, Red Bull, BOLD Theater Women's Leadership Circle, and piece by piece productions as we make work in new and surprising ways. We are gathering our creative family this season and look forward to bringing their work right into your living room."

The 2020-21 season kicks off this Friday, October 23 at 8PM EST with a live, virtual reading of Ole White Sugah Daddy, in partnership with AYE DEFY (founded by Mirirai Sithole, School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play). Written by Obehi Janice (Hulu's "Castle Rock") and directed by Caitlin Sullivan (Hundred Days, The Lucky Ones), Ole White Sugah Daddy was originally commissioned by SpeakEasy Stage Company and subsequently developed at SPACE on Ryder Farm, WP Theater, Colt Coeur, The Lark Play Development Center and AYE DEFY. The play was selected to be a part of the 2019 Parity Plays Festival reading series, produced by WP Theater in partnership with Colt Coeur at HERE Arts Center.

AYE DEFY has been creating new models of partnering and producing work in the virtual space. Leslie Roth (co-creator of AYE DEFY) produced the July 24 benefit reading with this same cast and creative team as part of their Kilroys Series. The October 23rd reading continues the developmental journey of this striking new play. The play will stream online through October 27. In Ole White Sugah Daddy, a young Black female coder and MIT grad wrestles with love, identity and the tension between striving and thriving. Lynne is struggling to get her new app noticed when an unexpected investor appears in the form of an older white man. Set amidst Boston's startup culture, Ole White Sugah Daddy asks, 'What do you do when you don't want the attention you're getting and you're not getting the attention you want?'

The next event will take place on November 20 at 7pm, and will stream online through November 24, in partnership with the acclaimed Ma-Yi Theater Company (Ralph B. Peña, Producing Artistic Director)­-one of the country's leading incubators of new works shaping local and national conversations about what it means to be Asian American today-to share a story as current as the headlines in today's news. Written by rising star Stefani Kuo and directed by Mei Ann Teo (SKiNFoLK: An American Show), Final Boarding Call tells the stories of the current Hong Kong protests. The play revolves around the interconnected stories of seven characters whose backgrounds and perspectives run the spectrum - a protesting brother and his flight attendant sister struggling to keep her job; a Mainland Chinese mother and her estranged Hong Kong daughter; a non-Cantonese speaking reporter and her Indian partner; and an American expat CEO and their Hong Kong lover living in the shadows. The play begins and ends with a flight, an entrance into the Hong Kong protests and how the politics we see on the news every day affects the citizens of Hong Kong in their day-to-day lives. It gives the audience a window into China's grip on global capitalism. How far will they go to fight for family, freedom, and the right to be heard?

The final event of 2020 is Lockdown, presented in partnership with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (Daniella Topol, Artistic Director; Yue Liu, Managing Director) on December 3. Inspired by her conversations with people serving life sentences at San Quentin Prison, the reading of this searing and beautiful play by Cori Thomas (When January Feels Like Summer) will reunite the playwright and director of the acclaimed Rattlestick Playwrights Theater production. Lockdown is an authentic, intimate, and powerful examination of life in prison, and an exploration of the possibilities for transformation through human connection. The New York Times calls Lockdown, "Capaciously compassionate. A rare night at the theater, and a valuable one." The reading will be available online following the live broadcast, until December 7.

WP Theater and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater will partner with Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought (CCCCT) on events timed to the reading of Lockdown, including the CCCCT's Abolition 13/13 project, featuring writings from imprisoned men at San Quentin, who collaborated on the writing and research of the play itself.

WP will kick off the second half of the season in 2021 with The Nourish Project, created and directed by current WP BOLD Associate Artistic Director Rebecca Martínez. What does it look like to create community in a virtual space? Using a framework built on the five senses and four natural elements, The Nourish Project explores virtual space as a means of soul nourishment and connection. This immersive live event will run from January 25-29.

Presented in collaboration with Red Bull Theater, WP presents a live, virtual reading of Galatea, written by MJ Kaufman and directed by Will Davis on March 22, with subsequent airings through March 26. A trans love story set against the backdrop of a climate crisis. Loosely based on John Lyly's 1585 play, Galatea tells the story of two young women from a village threatened with flooding who escape to the nearby woods disguised as boys and fall in love.

WP will continue their 43-year history of presenting innovative new work with Weightless, a new rock opera by The Kilbanes directed by WP Lab Alum & 2018-2019 BOLD Associate Artistic Director at WP Theater Tamilla Woodard (Where We Stand, Hadestown). The musical will stream in April & May 2021, with support from piece by piece productions. Sisterhood. Love. Betrayal. Weightless weaves together ancient myth with evocative indie rock to tell a story of a woman who refuses to be silenced. Inspired by the tale of Procne and Philomela from Ovid's Metamorphoses, the Kilbanes have crafted an evening of intimate storytelling infused with the raucous energy of a rock show and the imaginative spirit of experimental theater.

NEW PROGRAMS, CAMPAIGNS, AND INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTAL WORK:

#SoWeCanVote

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, WP Theater has teamed up with the American Theatre Wing to launch #SoWeCanVote. The currently running campaign celebrates the suffragists who helped pave the way for women to vote and provides voter resources and information. Each week leading up to the Presidential election on Tuesday, November 3, they will be releasing videos featuring Women+ theater artists reading quotes from key figures in the fight for voting equality and Women+ rights.

AFLOAT

With support from the BOLD Theater Women's Leadership Circle, WP Theater will continue the work on their commissioned musical AFLOAT, by Jonathan Larson Grant Award winners & Pipeline Festival alums alumni Zoe Sarnak (music & lyrics) and Emily Kaczmarek (book) with a private developmental lab. The musical is directed by Tamilla Woodard (Where We Stand, Hadestown). In a near-future America ravaged by climate change, teenagers Blue, Nico, and Casey steal a boat and set sail. A kinetic musical odyssey about friendship, survival... and the future of civilization.

viBe PAGES TO STAGES

Following up on their collaboration during last season's Where We Stand in which five young Women+ from viBe Theater Experience - an organization providing girls, young women, and nonbinary youth of color (aged 13-25) in New York City with free, high quality artistic, leadership and academic opportunities - worked alongside the creative and production team and oversaw the show's culminating vote, WP will continue and evolve their partnership. Their new initiative with the company, viBe Pages to Stages, will bring together teen writers with theater professionals from WP's community of designers, writers, directors and producers to offer one-on-one feedback to their new plays and an in-depth look into the process of developing new work for professional production.

DOMESTIC PARTNERS PROGRAM

WP Domestic Partner, Monica Bill Barnes & Company (co-producers on One Night Only, which ran as part of WP's 2018-19 Season) operated out of WP's theater and offices throughout the summer in a collaboration with sixteen female dancers from New York City's Hunter College to create their new project, Keep Moving. Using choreography and interviews from their cancelled American Dance Festival premiere of The Running Show, Monica Bill Barnes and Robert Saenz de Viteri created a series of dances and stories to be shared online. The work was presented in chapters of varying length and media as the company questions how a woman who works so hard to keep moving finds a way forward while we are all on pause.

RESERVATION INFO:

For additional information and to reserve your spot for each of the projects in 2020, please visit: www.WPTheater.org. Once reserved, a web link will be e-mailed 30 minutes prior to access each piece.

www.WPTheater.org


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