Plays & Players and Power Street to Present Readings of NOGALAR, TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING and DARK MATTERS, June 2014

Plays & Players and Power Street to Present Readings of NOGALAR, TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING and DARK MATTERS, June 2014

Plays & Players continues its collaboration with Power Street Theater Company with follow-up readings of El Nogalar by Tanya Saracho, Dark Matters by Oliver Mayer and To Catch the Lightning by Carmen Rivera.

These three plays, representing 30/30/2, 30/30/3 and 30/30/4, were selected from a group of finalists chosen during the 30/30/1 full day event held with local theater and Latino community leaders in March, as part of a nation-wide event. The readings hope to serve as a further contribution to the already-growing conversation about the Latina/o voice and identity in the Philadelphia theater community.

El Nogalar, inspired by Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, is a tragic and poetic look at gang violence in Northern Mexico.

To Catch the Lightning is a dark look at two orphans trying to understand the bonds and limitations of family in the face of their desperate father's internal and external demons.

Balancing out the three, Dark Matters is a romantic comedy that provides a touching and profound look at love, music and the magic of science.

30/30 is a gathering of 30+ NoPassport playwrights and theatre-makers who also happen to be US Latina/o artists, in collaboration with Dominic D'Andrea (Producing Artistic Director, The One-Minute Play Festival, #1MPF.) Each playwright asked to participate has selected one play from their body of work to make part of this scheme. Some are brand new plays. Others are from the author's hidden back catalogue. Others are representative pieces. Some are two handers, others are multi-character pieces. The range is vast and wide, as rich as US Latino theatre writing itself. The plays will be presented as readings in venues both inside and outside of the theatre in cities all over the world over the course of the next three months.

All performances will be held in the third floor Skinner Studio at Plays & Players at 1714 Delancey Place. Performances are pay-what-you-can. All proceeds benefit Plays & Players and Power Street Theater Company's ongoing exploration of Latina/o playwrights.

To Catch the Lightning by Carmen Rivera

Directed by Tina Brock

Cast includes Jose Aviles, Jennifer MacMillan and Richard Mitchell

Monday, June 9th at 7pm

In a world where there are as many dangers inside the house as outside, two orphans grapple with their ever-changing family dynamic. Their father, a tortured man trying desperately to create the perfect family, is obsessed with trying to photograph lightning. A woman who he claims is their mother sleeps in the back bedroom, but the unsteady balance of their family is skewed when she wakes with more questions than answers.

El Nogalar by Tanya Saracho

Directed by Tamanya Garza

Cast includes Gabriela Sanchez, Merri Rashoyan and Rachel O'Hanlon Rodriguez

Monday, June 16th at 7pm

Set amid the explosive drug wars in present-day Northern Mexico, El Nogalar is the story of the Galván family's struggle to hold on to their homestead-and their precarious social status-before it slips away. The play shadows the family's housekeeper, Dunia, as she watches the family matriarch Maite and her daughters squander their money and risk losing everything to a local drug cartel. Despite warnings from friends and family, Maite ignores her dwindling fortune as stubbornly as she ignores the sinister capos simmering at her doorstep. This topical story explores the choice between adapting to the changing world-or getting left behind.

Dark Matters by Oliver Mayer

Directed by Erlina Ortiz

Cast includes Nick Anselmo and Julia Lopez

Tuesday, June 17th at 7pm

When two top-level particle physicists happen down the same area of inquiry involving SUSY (supersymmetry), sparks fly. Careers on the line, both men play hardball to win; but when their romantic happiness is threatened, the whole question of string theory finds itself on the chopping block. A comedy that connects supersymmetry to the harmonies of back-up singing and the songs of Donna Summer and Leonard Cohen.

About the Directors:

Tina Brock is the Producing Artistic Director and a Founder (2006) of the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, a Philadelphia-based theater producing works with an absurd flair. She has directed over 30 main stage productions, including works by Franz Kafka, Charles Mee, Witold Gombrowicz, Nikolai Gogol, Max Frisch, Boris Vian, Jean Giraudoux, Eugène Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Christopher Durang and Tennessee Williams. Over the past twenty years she has also worked as a freelance producer and writer, including associate producer credits on the NPR radio series A Chef's Table with Jim Coleman, and in the development, public information and fundraising departments at PBS affiliate WHYY-TV12. She is a frequent speaker on directing absurdism for American audiences, most recently at Yale University's Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures regarding Ivona: Princess of Burgundia by Polish author Witold Gombrowicz. Upcoming for IRC: Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros for FringeArts 2014.

Since 2003, Tamanya Garza has been a freelance director and producer in Philadelphia, PA and had the honor to work with: Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Wilma Theater, Flashpoint Theatre Company, Secret Room Theatre, the University of Philadelphia's Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, SKITSoid, Cardboardbox Collaborative, Madhouse Theater Company, The Omega Sessions, The Brick Playhouse, and currently as the President of the Board of Directors for Azuka Theatre. Tamanya also holds a position as a marketing professional for Asendia USA and as an Educational Theater Consultant. Tamanya has been heavily involved in creating a powerful alumni community for her alma mater, Washington College in Chestertown, MD, where she received her BA in Drama, and currently serves as the Chair of the Dramalumni Steering Committee. Tamanya has an amazing family who help her make this look easy - and she loves them.

Erlina Ortiz is glad to be at Plays & Players working on these important pieces and giving a voice to the Latino community. She is currently Artistic Director of Power Street, a multicultural theatre company which has given her the avenue to explore all the different hats she enjoys wearing. Erlina is a graduate of the Temple University Theatre cult, and a former Intern of Plays and Players, as well as former Season apprentice for InterAct Theatre Company. Erlina loves her Philadelphia theatre community and can't wait to continue to learn and explore what this great city has to offer. Thank you P&P! And thank you PSTC and Gaby for your continued love and support.

About Plays & Players: Over 100 years old, Plays & Players was reborn in 2011 as a professional theater under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Daniel Student. As a coalition of theatre artists and enthusiasts, Plays & Players strives to provide intelligent, inclusive, and diverse plays that engage and entertain audiences, to invest in local talent, and to preserve its historic landmark home. Plays & Players' 2013-14 season focuses on brothers and sisters; those with whom we are closest, those who share our blood, and those with whom, familiar or unknown, we seek connection. Through rituals old and new, we continue searching for those who are both distant from and deeply within us as we attempt to unwrap the simplest of notions: brotherhood. The season concludes with Eric Bogosian's Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, a hilarious and riveting one-man tour de force about masculinity, capitalism, and the great American way starring Philadelphia's own Eric Scotolati and directed by Allison Heishman.

About Power Street Theatre Company: Power Street Theatre is an ensemble-based company composed of socially-conscious theater artists collaborating to create new work that explores social issues. We want to be a catalyst for cultural outreach and understanding within Philadelphia and beyond. We are students, community leaders, and artists learning the ropes of creating a vision from the ground up. Our goal is to create great art by exposing, exhibiting & expressing our stories to those communities within the Philadelphia area who are familiar and unfamiliar with theater. We are a diverse theatre for the world as we see it, producing new and contemporary plays that explore the social, political and cultural issues within our communities. Power Street's first production, Minorityland ran to rave reviews in the 2013 Philadelphia FringeArts festival.

About NoPassport: NoPassport was founded by playwright Caridad Svich in 2003. It is an unincorporated, artist-driven, grass-roots theatre alliance & press devoted to cross-cultural, Pan-American performance, theory, action, advocacy, and publication. NoPassport exists as a virtual and live forum for the exchange of work and dreams, a network between theatres and the academy, and a mobile band of playwrights, directors, actors, producers and musicians. The mentoring of younger artists is also a key component of NOPE's (as we playfully call ourselves) mission.

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