Plays By Women Rock the Strawberry One-Act Festival for Women's History Month
Never underestimate the power and talent of a woman. 11 Fearless Women Playwrights will have their plays grace the stage in the Strawberry One-Act Festival with BOLD new ideas that are unapologetic and thought provoking! Beginning with JESSICA MARIE FISHER'S Welcome To Narnia, to JO RODRIGUEZ'S Why We're Here, NATASHA COBB'S Doin' Good and CAROLYN MOSES' Adam's Eve; these women playwrights tackle everything from sexual abuse, identity, empowerment, careers, family and chasing Jibouti forces.
WELCOME TO NARNIA By Jessica Marie Fisher explores the theme of sexual identify. Almost nobody "KNOWS" completely what their sexuality is - most people have to find the answers through trial and error. "Narnia" is the story of the messy and gross "figuring it out," and all that comes with it. Lauren and Liam navigate love, sex, family, identity and the sticky in-betweens of queer adolescence. In SERIES A Wed, 3/13 at 6pm and Thurs, 3/14 at 8:30pm
Jessica Marie Fisher graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts Drama BFA program in January 2019, where she studied writing and directing for two years at Playwrights Horizons Theatre Studio, and Musical Theatre performance for a year and a half at The New Studio on Broadway. She is also the recipient of a National Scholastic Art and Writing Honorable Mention Award for her short story The Questioning of Susan Applegate. She is most interested in writing about family, abuse, mental health, and the LGBT+ community. She has studied playwriting under Alexis Kozak, Andrew Farmer, Sarah Gancher, Kara Corthron, and Rogelio Martinez.
WHY WE'RE HERE By Jo Rodriguez is a powerful play with suspense and drama. Jim Payne gets onto a train and expects the usual: a spot to himself, quiet, in the darkness. But that doesn't last long when he is joined by a mysterious man and a woman who knows more than she should. Trapped between the bliss of ignorance and the fear of inadequacy, Jim must illuminate the truth of who he is... and whether he can live with that. SERIES D Sat, 3/16 at 3:30pm and Sun, 3/17 at 1pm.
Jo Rodriguez is a playwright and actor based in Los Angeles, CA. Her plays include Movements, Street Light, and What We All Know Too Well in which she's had the joy of developing and producing them at Samuel French's Summer Short Series and AMDA's many workshop opportunities. Additionally, she has earned an Honorable Mention in the Art & Writing Scholastic Awards for her play Listen. As an actor she is in her third season at The Wallis Studio Ensemble where they write and create devised works for social change, and have gone on to places such as The CrisisArt Festival in Italy and The San Diego International Fringe Festival.
In DOIN' GOOD by Natasha Cobb two siblings reminisce over their childhood as one faces a cancer diagnosis. Facing the truth alone is often impossible. SERIES E Sun, 3/17 at 6pm and Mon, 3/18 at 8:30pm.
Natasha Cobb is a playwright, author, and blogger. In Summer 2017 she was nominated for Best Playwright for the It's Not Stamped On Your Forehead debut at the Midtown International Theatre Festival. In the Summer 2018 It's Not Stamped On Your Forehead went up in the Strawberry One Act Festival where she was nominated for Best Director. She published a memoir of her time in high school, Project Chic to Paulie, in 2017 and maintains a personal blog, https://brownsville2concord.com.
In ADAM'S EVE by Carolyn Moses somewhere beyond Eden, Adam and Eve scrounge for dinner from the unforgiving earth, when an American Soldier shows up and offers a tent, food and hot water for information on Jibouti forces. SERIES F Sun, 3/17 at 8:30pm and Mon, 3/18 at 6pm.
Carolyn Moses, a native New Yorker, has had her work produced in that city and beyond. Produced plays include: A Nasty Tempered Man, Cannibals, Caribbean Couples, and The Gospel of Judas. Fully staged readings have been seen in New York City, Upstate, Long Island, New Jersey, Cambridge and elsewhere.
For a full list of plays in the festival go to www.therianttheatre.com. Tickets are $25 Online and $27 at the Box Office: 646-623-3488. All performances are at Theatre 54 @ Shetler Studios and Theatre, 244 West 54th Street, 12th Floor, NYC.
The Riant Theatre, the Audelco Award-winning nonprofit providing a nurturing developmental environment for playwrights and theatre creators of diverse cultural backgrounds -- proudly presents THE STRAWBERRY ONE-ACT FESTIVAL. A celebration of cultural diversity, THE STRAWBERRY ONE-ACT FESTIVAL will be presented at Theatre 54 @ Shetler Studios (244 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue, NYC) Wednesday, March 13th through Sunday, March 24th, 2019. This winter's festival marks the 32nd Season of The Riant Theatre's renowned short play competition, and also will feature the premieres of eight full-length one-act plays. Reflecting the diversity written into the mission of its presenter, THE STRAWBERRY ONE-ACT FESTIVAL has produced over 1,500 one-act plays since it began in 1995 (in recent years, the festival has often been presented biannually due to demand from artist submissions and audiences alike).
Tickets for all performances during THE STRAWBERRY ONE-ACT FESTIVAL are priced as follows: General admission - $25 advance/$27 at the box office. Tickets are on sale now through www.therianttheatre.com or by calling 646-623-3488. Festival Pass discount packages are also available upon request.
THE STRAWBERRY ONE-ACT FESTIVAL will also continue its tradition of staging both world and New York premieres of short theatrical works presented as part of The Strawberry One-Act Competition. Nicknamed "the 'American Idol' for playwrights" by the New York Daily News, THE STRAWBERRY ONE-ACT FESTIVAL features a playoff-style competition of plays received through submissions from across the country. Audience members vote for their favorite play among those presented each evening to determine which plays advance to the FINALS, which are judged by a jury of industry experts. In addition to the opportunity for finalists to be selected for publication in print in the festival's anthology The Best Plays From The Strawberry One-Act Festival, awards are presented for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Costumes in addition to Best Play, which comes with a $1,500 prize and a development deal for a full-length play produced by the Riant Theatre.
The Strawberry One-Act Competition:
Every play in The Strawberry One-Act Festival will be performed two times in Round 1 of the competition. Round 1 begins Wed, March 13th and runs through Mon, March 18th. After the votes are tallied the play with the least votes will be eliminated from the competition. The remaining plays will advance to the Semi-Finals, where they will perform with different plays for 1 performance. The Semi-Finals are on Wed, March 20th and Thurs, March 21st at 6pm & 8:30pm. After the votes are tallied the play with the least votes will be eliminated from the competition. The remaining plays will advance to the Finals.
The Finals will be performed on Saturday, March 23rd at Noon. The Industry Judges will see all Finals performances. This season's judges will include a Casting Director, a Literary Agent, a Theatre Producer and a Broadway Actor (TBA).
Nominations for all awards will be announced at the Festival's conclusion.
The Awards Ceremony is scheduled to be held on Sunday, March 24th at 5:30pm at Theatre 54 @ Shetler Studios, 244 W. 54th St, 12th Fl, NYC.
Strawberry Festival actor alumni include Academy Award-nominees Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and Chazz Palminteri (Bullets Over Broadway, A Bronx Tale), Golden Globe Award-winner Ving Rhames ("Don King: Only in America," Bringing Out the Dead, Mission Impossible), Ato Essandoh (Jason Bourne, HBO's "Vinyl," "Elementary"), and Chance Kelly (American Sniper, NBC's "Aquarius").
"Independently created and presented theatre, once a vital part of this city's cultural landscape, is sadly becoming increasingly rare in the current economic and political environment. I am honored, through The Riant Theatre's Strawberry One-Act Festival, to continue providing an opportunity for playwrights, actors, singers, directors and designers the opportunity to create vital new work," says Van Dirk Fisher, Artistic Director.
The Riant Theatre (formerly The Black Experimental Theatre) was founded by Van Dirk Fisher in 1979 as a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a nurturing environment to develop new plays and outstanding artists - particularly for the African-American Playwrights facing limited access to resources for developing and presenting their work. Through the years, the company has extended its mission of furthering the understanding between the races by celebrating diversity through theatre. By 1991, the theatre company expanded to a loft in Tribeca and was renamed The Riant (which means 'merriment and laughter' in French). Since 1995, The Riant Theatre has been producing and presenting THE STRAWBERRY ONE-ACT FESTIVAL (now often presented twice a year -- in February/March and July/August). Its current programs also include The Core Project, an ongoing intensive workshop for writers, directors and actors to develop new plays and present them in stage readings; New Play Reading Series, in which plays are read before an invited audience and followed by a question and answer session with the playwright and artists; and the Musical Theatre Workshop, for students, in which they learn Broadway, gospel and classical style songs under the guidance of theatre professionals and work on scenes and choreography that will lead to a performance. The Riant Theatre also has a strong Youth Mentoring Program, which provides internships for teenagers and college students interested in the arts. This unique organization has grown to become a place where artists - singers, writers, actors, directors, musicians, and visual artists - can come together to collaborate on new works and share ideas. For his accomplishments with The Riant Theatre, Van Dirk Fisher received the 2009 AUDELCO Special Achievement Award. Visit www.therianttheatre.com.
THE STRAWBERRY ONE-ACT FESTIVAL - Short Plays To Be Presented in Competition
Series A: Wed, March 13th at 6pm & Thurs, March 14th at 8:30pm
-VISITORS by Anthony Marinelli
An attractive young couple meets through a dating app called Visitors that provides 24-hour access to all participants. In a world where watching has become more important than doing, has narcissism finally become the new normal?
-WELCOME TO NARNIA by Jessica Marie Fisher
Is the coming out story for people who are tired of unnecessarily dramatic and unrealistic coming out stories. Almost nobody "KNOWS" completely what their sexuality is - most people have to find the answers through trial and error. "Narnia" is the story of the messy and gross "figuring it out," and all that comes with it. Lauren and Liam navigate love, sex, family, identity and the sticky in-betweens of queer adolescence.
-A BEAUTIFUL MOURNING by Stephen J. Ryan
Featuring: David Risely, Lynda Browing, Katie Schrader and Fred Grieco
Harold is at his mother Abigail's funeral. She is being buried at Brooklyn Cemetery located near a bustling intersection and elevated train. While saying goodbye, he discovers that some endings are just beginnings, as he hears her from beyond the grave.
-LEAVES by Victor Vauban Jr.
Muriel and her two sisters had dreams of becoming the new musical sensation just like, "The Supremes" - but fate intervene. Muriel fell in love and married her college sweetheart, Curtis, putting an end to the girl group's dreams. Over thirty-years later the two sisters still resent the premature dissolution of the group blaming it on their so-called- good for nothing brother-in-law.
Series B: Wed, March 13th at 8:30pm & Thurs, March 14th at 6pm
-FREEDOM, REVOLT AND LOVE by Jake Kevrick
Why are they hiding? What have they done? Who are you people? You know what's coming. They didn't get away this time. Haunting the Mountains of Virginia lives a dangerous love story that could fire a bullet. Freedom, Revolt and Love is a poetic journey through the lives of renegades living on the edge of glory. Living for the love of one another in a battle for survival. What is the last thing you'd want to remember if you knew you'd never wake up?
-TOADY HOAD by Damien Roos
Amid rumors that his brother has committed a terrible crime, a hard-luck carpenter soon finds the man hiding in his home. His brother will not confirm nor deny the accusations: the more he talks the more it becomes clear he is the culprit. When pressed for answers by a local sheriff, Munk Hoad must decide whether their familiar bond is strong enough that he'd assist an evil man in eluding punishment.
-SWIM BEFORE YOU DROWN by Ciara Kay
Featuring: Hunter Mruz, Michaella Deladia
Swim Before You Drown is a dramatic comedy about recent college graduate, Harper, coping with the magnitude of life after college. Her and her best friend, Sam, can't stand living in their small, "beige" hometown in the Midwest and both dream of escaping, even if that means losing each other. With everything in her life changing and on the brink of losing the one person she loves, Harper must deal with how to accept who she is in a world that fails to respect her and a Korean family that judges her even more.
-ZOEY & OWEN by William "Bill" Beasley and Christen Omantra Callahan
Directed by Christen Omantra Callahan
Featuring: Marie Wall, Errol Greaves & C. Niambi Steele
Two co-workers from completely different backgrounds accidently discover romantic feelings for each other.
Series C: Sat, March 16th at 1pm & Sun, March 17th at 3:30pm
-MID LIFE CONVERSATIONS by Maria Filippone
When a woman discovers that her husband has found his passion, she suddenly feels that she has lost her purpose.
-SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE by Michael David Johnson
Directed by Fulton Hodges
Featuring: Joana Micius and Chris Raglin
Marriage is a two-way street, but sometimes the street hits a detour.
-THE FOOD WE ARE ABOUT TO EAT by Alan Brooks
The Food We Are About To Eat is about the baggage we lug around all our lives, and carry into our relationships; all the boxes and suitcases we cart with us out of the overstuffed closets of our childhood and dump into the attics and basements of every relationship we get into as adults - always surprised when our partner opens a box and asks why we still have that.
-O HAPPY DAGGER by Claire Tyers
A one-woman adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Through a storyteller, a dagger, and a splash of poison - we meet teens we thought we knew, learn about a love we thought we studied, and scratch the surface of what could possibly make this dagger so happy!
Series D: Sat, March 16th at 3:30pm & Sun, March 17th at 1pm
-GOD'S YOUNGER SON by Joe Leary
Can an alcoholic agnostic and a schizophrenic who believes he's the son of God coexist as roommates in a locked psychiatric ward without driving each other crazy?
Producers: Cheery Leary Productions
-A TWO-HUNDRED DOLLAR RHINOCEROS by Richard Lobel
The play centers around two characters separated by age, race and socioeconomic status who are eventually brought together through incessant meddling. One is a grizzled, weary homeless man and the other is a young, idealistic college student.
-WHY WE'RE HERE by Jo Rodriguez
Jim Payne gets onto a train and expects the usual: a spot to himself, quiet, in the darkness. But that doesn't last long when he is joined by a mysterious man and a woman who knows more than she should. Trapped between the bliss of ignorance and the fear of inadequacy, Jim must illuminate the truth of who he is... and whether he can live with that.
-MORE THAN STRANGERS by Joseph Lizardi
An American housewife finds it difficult to overcome her husband's infidelity and embarks on a European vacation of her own. While in Spain, she meets an older man, sophisticated and very understanding who helps her to deal with the situation. Will she get her groove back and will she fall in love?
Series E: Sat, March 17th at 6pm & Mon, March 18st at 8:30pm
-A VISIT IN THE AFTERNOON by Fred Dennehy
Mara, a teenage girl, reluctantly agrees to visit her bad-tempered grandfather, who her mother tells her wants to give her something before he dies. What she receives from him is completely unexpected.
-FIRST DATE FOR SOULMATES by Parker Cross, Jr.
Two people on a first date find out they're matched more perfectly than they could have ever imagined.
-DOIN' GOOD by Natasha Cobb
Two siblings reminisce over their childhood as one faces a cancer diagnosis. Facing the truth alone is often impossible.
-TWO LINES by Lola Hughes
Old lovers reunite with different intentions. The test results are two lines and she wants an abortion, but he wants to keep it. Will the two lines become a reality or will they disappear?
Series F: Sat, March 17th at 8:30pm & Mon, March 18st at 6pm
-ADAM'S EVE by Carolyn Moses
Somewhere beyond Eden, Adam and Eve scrounge for dinner from the ungiving earth, when an American Soldier shows up and offers a tent, food and hot water for information on Jibouti forces.
-ARTISTIC REFLECTIONS by Nicholas Bompart
Pablo Picasso has imaginary discussions with characters that are depicted in his infamous and illustrious painting "Guernica". The characters in the painting reside in what is left of The Town of Guernica, Spain after it was bombarded by Nazi and Spanish Nationalist forces in 1937.
-REAWAKENING by Anthony Fusco
A gay couple try to salvage what's left between them after a tragic incident. Can they overcome their infidelities from the past to give this relationship a second chance?
-LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL by William Holland
A teenager gets pregnant and her boyfriend and mother thinks that she should have an abortion. Her grandfather offers her another solution.
The Semi-Finals: (Plays TBD)
#1 Wed, March 20th at 6pm
#2 Wed, March 20th at 8:30pm
#3 Thurs, March 21st at 6pm
#4 Thurs, March 21st at 8:30pm
The Finals: Sat, March 23rd at 12pm
The Awards Show: Sun, March 24th at 5:30pm