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Philadelphia Theatre Company Presents THE DAYS OF RE-CREATION

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Company will announce the 2020-21 Season prior to the broadcast on September 30th.

Philadelphia Theatre Company begins its 46th season with the rolling world premiere of The Days of Re-Creation: A Virtual Play on September 30th at 7pm.

The play cycle is the brainchild of Devenand Janki, Artistic Director of the company Live & In Color, which commissioned seven prolii??c playwrights of color, including B.D. Wong (Tony award winning actor), Lauren Yee (Signature Theatre resident and writer of Cambodian Rock Band and The Big Leap), and Masi Asare (winner of the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award), AriDy Nox, SEVAN, Nandita Shenoy, and Philadelphia playwright Erlina Ortiz, who contributed the play La Egoista. Directed by Rebecca Aparacio, the play features seven 10-minute plays relating to the seven days of creation from the Book of Genesis. Tickets for the play are free, but patrons must register for a link at philatheatreco.org, or by calling 215-985-0420. All performances are performed virtually and are able to be viewed on any streaming device, including YouTube.

Immediately prior to the broadcast, at 6:45 pm, Producing Artistic Director Paige Price will announce the Company's plans for the 2020-21 Season and new Resident Artist Jeffrey L. Page will be introduced.. Price and PTC Managing Director Emily Zeck are focused on shifting programming to the virtual space for the 2020-21 Season. PTC is excited to meet the challenges of the current moment in two ways - creating opportunities for artists and addressing racial inequity in American theatre with direct action. At 6:45 pm on Wednesday, September 30th, the Season's offerings will be announced,


"We're very excited to kick off the season with something brand new," said PTC Artistic Director Paige Price. When my colleague Dev Janki came to see if PTC would be interested in participating in a national rolling premiere, I saw that Erlina Ortiz (co-artistic director of Power Street Theatre Company) was one of the commissioned playwrights. Immediately, I agreed. The piece also appeals to me because it's very of-the-moment. Many of these short plays deal with storylines inspired by this time of isolation and questioning. Live & In Color commissioned these wonderful playwrights of color, and it's a wonderful way to bring a variety of new writers to our audience's attention. Finally, it allows us to offer work to artists, which is going to be a main focus of our season."

We live in a time of incredible upheaval. Our daily lives are unrecognizable from a year ago. As a country, we are undergoing a deep reexamination of our institutions. Each day it feels like we are recreating ourselves as individuals and rebuilding in new and better ways what has been corroded or purposefully torn down. So, 2020 will be seen as a pivotal year in the history of mankind. While it is a year full of fear, exhaustion, coni??ict, and death, it also has the potential to be a year of revolution, rebirth, and re-creation. The Days of Re-Creation: A Virtual Play is seven 10-minute plays on this theme of re-creation which relate in some way to one of the seven days of creation from the Book of Genesis. These plays were written to be performed specii??cally on a virtual platform with a run time of 80 minutes.

They include:

Light and dark... by BD Wong (The Three Karens)

Sky and water... by Masi Asare (The Strong Friend, and Company)

Land and plants... by SEVAN (Soilmates)

Planets and stars... by Nandita Shenoy (To the Stars With Love)

Fish and birds ... by Lauren Yee (The Nerd)

Land animals and humans...by AriDy Nox (S.C.R.I.)

Rest... by Erlina Ortiz (La Egoista)


The Day of Re-Creation: A Virtual Play is directed by Rebecca Aparicio (she/her), who makes her Philadelphia debut. Aparicio is an NYC-based director and writer of new work, dedicated to telling stories rooted in social and human justice. Recent projects include: In The Heights (Live Arts), award-winning production of Radical by Nelson Diaz-Marcano (HERE), and Morir Sonyando by Erlina Ortiz (Parsnip Ship). The cast is made up of local favorites, returning PTC favorites, and actors making their PTC debuts. The cast includes: Kimberly S. Fairbanks (she/her), who appeared in Sweat in 2018, J. Hernandez (he/him), who returns to PTC after performing in Sweat as well as Everything is Wonderful this past season. He is a multiple-Barrymore nominee and nominee for the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist. Suli Holum, who also appeared in PTC's Sweat, returns for this performance. Making their PTC debuts are Guadalís Del Carmen (she/her) also a playwright whose play Bees and Honey was on the 2019 Kilroys List, Iraisa Ann Reilly (she/her), Christine Toy Johnson (she/her) from the National Tour of Come From Away, and Ang Bey (they/them) who is a co-artistic director of Shoe Box Theatre Collective.

"I am so deeply honored to be able to work on The Days of Re-Creation with Philadelphia Theatre Company," said Aparicio. "When Paige approached me about this project, it was an immediate YES (!) because of the incredible team of writers that Live & In Color has commissioned for this, especially my dear friend and Philadelphia's own Erlina Ortiz. As a Latina theatre maker, the fact that all of the stories are written by BIPOC artists is especially meaningful. As we know, Black and Brown communities are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic in America, while simultaneously fighting the pandemic of systemic racism and violence against Black and Brown people. What I find most fascinating about LIVE & IN COLOR's approach is how they have framed these stories through the Book of Genesis. The idea that amidst all the current destruction, devastation, and loss there is the opportunity for a new birth. We are being forced as a collective to re-examine the systems that we have put in place and acknowledge that we have collective power to decide whether these systems still work for us. While this work is painful, there is the ability to re-create a world that is better for all of us. And I think these stories invite us to ask these questions of ourselves and of our communities."


The playwrights were facing an exciting challenge with this piece. They had to turn their typical writing into something that worked on screen and was quick. "I think the 10-minute medium was more outside my comfort zone than the virtual medium actually," said Ortiz, the Co-Artistic Director and Resident Playwright at Power Street Theatre. "I'm used to writing longer plays and spending more time getting to know characters. This was a fun challenge because I had to dive right into what these characters wanted from each other. Also the other prompts like Recreation and Rest gave me parameters to work in that got my creative juices flowing. I think if I would have been told '10-minute Zoom play Go!' without the other parameters it would have felt like an arduous task. I was feeling very anti-zoom play until about a week before getting contacted about this commission so it was good timing. "

This virtual performance is stage managed by Jamel Baker. The PTC team responsible for the company's Virtual Play Brawl Fundraiser will handle the digital duties for this production.


"This fits right in with our longstanding mission," said Price. "We also want to be more proactive in producing contemporary theatre that represents the American experience in a way that tells stories about what is happening right now. The American experience can be found in all cultures - that sounds obvious, right? But we have more work to do to shine light on the many communities that make up this city. While we can't wait to get back into the theatre just yet, these plays were actually written FOR this digital space, so the stories will play out in what seems like the perfect platform. We're also really trying to find ways to be responsive to a tectonic shift that is occurring in our field right now. Theatres are being asked to look at how their institutions reflect their communities (or not) and to take meaningful steps toward equity. We are a predominantly white organization, but Philadelphia is such a culturally diverse city. This play is just one small step we can take (albeit during a shutdown) to support BIPOC artists."

Tickets are free for this event. You can register to receive your link to the performance at philatheatreco.org, at the box-office, or by calling 215-985-0420. The production will become available at 7 pm on September 30th, but will be available for viewing until October 3rd.


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