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Corkscrew Theater Festival Presents Sam Silbiger's SIX YEARS OLD

Corkscrew Theater Festival Presents Sam Silbiger's SIX YEARS OLD

Corkscrew Theater Festival's third annual summer season continues with the world premiere of Sam Silbiger's Six Years Old. Directed by Helen Handelman and running July 13-28, Six Years Old centers on a precocious child's frustrations with being treated as a girl and her journey of self-discovery, aided by her babysitter Kim, to become the person she longs to be: Han Solo. Written by and starring queer and trans artists who are very much adults, the play explores the comedy and pathos that exists in the distance between the start and the middle of a queer person's life. Performed by Julia Weldon as Adalaide, Diane Chen as Kim, Conor William Wright as Dewey, and Meghan E. Jones as Rachel, Six Years Old is the second of four mainstage productions that are part of Corkscrew Theater Festival, which provides early-career artists with a high level of production support.

Adalaide is six years old, and she knows a few things: her stupid babysitter Kim is stupid, her younger brother Dewey is a naked mole rat, the film Godzilla expresses the paranoid id of the nuclear age, and she does NOT like being treated like a girl. Though Kim takes Adalaide's frustrations seriously and tries to offer support, Adalaide's family and peers discourage her, leaving her to seek out dangerous measures in order to transform into who she was born to be (her hero, Han Solo). Six Years Old, by Sam Silbiger, is a comic and poignant play reflecting back on the wild fantasies and serious desires of queer childhood.

"This weird little character at the center of Six Years Old is adult-serious about kid-silly things, and kind of out of necessity, kid-silly about adult-serious things," said Silbiger. "Who's allowed on the swings is treated with huge importance, but a deep longing to upend assigned gender is not. I hope this lends the play a sense of humor, and says something about how so many queer/trans* experiences stop before they even begin because from the outside perspective, it looks as if those experiences aren't as centrally important to a person's life as they really are."

In Handelman's words, "Six Years Old focuses in on a precocious six year old as she moves and grooves through the murkiness of asserting herself on her own terms. We just began the rehearsal process with our incredible team - and it is already so clear how greatly we all share a deep love for the world of this play. I can't wait for audiences to experience how the characters collide and ricochet off of each other; it's its own kind of magic."

Corkscrew Theater Festival features four world premieres, four workshop productions, and four readings performed in repertory over four weeks. Special attention has been given to theater makers who are developing work through tight-knit collaborations. A majority of the participating artists identify as women, trans, or non-binary.

The creative team for Six Years Old includes You-Shin Chen (scenic designer), Ricky Reynoso (costume designer), Stacey Derosier (lighting designer), Renee Yeong (sound designer), Jonathan Matthews (choreographer), Katie Cecil Cairns (stage manager), Matt Grimaldi (assistant stage manager), and Zoe Chrissos (props assistant).

Performances of Six Years Old will take place July 13-28 (see schedule above) at Paradise Factory (64 E 4th St, Manhattan). Critics are welcome as of the 8pm performance on July 13, which serves as the official opening. Tickets are $24 and can be purchased at or by calling 347.954.9125.

About the Artists

Sam Silbiger (they/them) is a playwright from Philadelphia. Their writing has been seen at The Bushwick Starr, JACK, The Tank, The Irondale Center, The Secret Theater, and Little Theater at Dixon Place. They have also worked closely on new work with WP Theater, Target Margin Theater, Soho Rep, and many wonderful independent artists, and they play in the band Go Home. They were recently a playwriting resident at the Sitka Fellows Program in Sitka, AK, and were an Eastern European fellow of the Center for International Theater Development in 2016.

Helen Handelman (she/her) is a New York-based director. Working with playwrights on developing imaginative text-driven plays and with theater artists in devising interdisciplinary performances, she is above all dedicated to making new work. Helen was a 2014 Core Company member at the Orchard Project, and has worked on productions at LCT3, HERE Arts, The Public Theater, Curtis Opera Theatre, The Bushwick Starr, Ars Nova, Clubbed Thumb, and WP Theater. B.A. Wesleyan University.

Madeleine Goldsmith (she/her) is a New York-based producer determined to make art that matters in our current world. Since moving to New York from San Francisco two years ago, she has produced with Caborca at Abrons Arts Center, Target Margin Theater alongside David Herskovits, at NYTW Next Door Series, David Greenspan's The Things That Were There at The Bushwick Starr, Hipokrit Theatre Company's R & J, Colt Coeur's 10th world premiere at HERE Arts Center, and Yehuda Hyman's The Mar Vista at The Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center.

Julia Weldon (they/them) is a SAG-AFTRA, AEA actor and indie-folk musician. With a career that began in a lead role opposite Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson (Before & After), Julia has worked on feature films, TV (High Maintenance, Law & Order: SVU), and Off-Broadway (Family Week by Beth Henley). Their upcoming projects include roles in ADAM (Sundance 2019) and the next JOKER film (2019, starring Joaquin Phoenix).

Diane Chen (they/them) is a multidisciplinary filmmaker & theater artist. Onstage: delicacy of a puffin heart (Corkscrew Theater Festival), Something for the Fish (CPR), Exposed Bone (The PIT). Onscreen: High Maintenance S3 (HBO), Here We Wait (Best Supporting Actress at Brooklyn Webfest, Best Lead Actress: Drama nomination - IAWTV Awards). Upcoming, they are producing and starring in Sideways Smile, a series about an Asian-American female in her comedic journey discovering her sexuality. IG: @dianechen51

Conor William Wright (he/him): Recent theatre credits include Julius Caesar at The Public, The Forgetting Curve at Bridge Rep of Boston, and The Peddler's Tale at The Wild Project. TV: Search Party on TBS, The Undoing on HBO, and Blue Bloods on CBS. Film: Harry Haft with Barry Levinson and Alice Fades Away. Conor is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College.

Meghan E. Jones (she/her) is an actor and playwright from the Show-Me State. Her NYC/Regional theatre credits include Helen Jones in Machinal, Annie in The Real Thing, Kate in the Shelter's Red Room (NYIT Nom for Best Actress) and Edna Pontellier in Ugly Rhino's critically acclaimed original adaptation of the Kate Chopin novel The Awakening. Meghan can be seen in numerous national and international commercials, short films, including the award winning Notes From the Acrid Plain, and the recent feature Only Fear of Death. She would like to thank her family at the Shelter for keeping the fire burning bright.

Founded in 2017, Corkscrew Theater Festival reduces the barriers to entry for early-career artists in NYC in order to showcase world premiere productions of ambitious new plays and musicals. Corkscrew is defined by its commitment to tight-knit collaboration, not only in the projects that are programmed but also around the festival itself, which incites constant dialogue and support among its community of artists through a series of initiatives. The festival presents four to five mainstage productions (plus a series of workshops and staged readings) performed in repertory over four weeks during the summer.

Corkscrew requires no fees to apply or to participate. In addition, the festival offers unique support intended to professionalize the process for early-career artists and to encourage a spirit of collaboration: a bimonthly Directors/Producers Lab, where creators of all projects discuss challenges and solutions; a Writers' Group for script development; pre-rehearsal readings for each production during Spring Reading Weekend; and new in 2019, a festival casting process led by a team of professional casting directors. 2019 also brings the first iteration of Corkscrew Downstairs, a series of four workshop productions sharing one design team and one highly flexible scenic design. Ultimately, Corkscrew seeks to merge the communal atmosphere of a festival with the rigor of a not-for-profit theatre company.

Photo Credit: Victoria Ungvarsky

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