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Arizona Theatre Company Presents Online Digital Reading of New Work COVENANT

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Covenant will be accessible on ATC’s website as well as on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo from 5 p.m., Oct. 28 to 5 p.m., Nov. 1.

Arizona Theatre Company Presents Online Digital Reading of New Work COVENANT

Legend has it that landmark blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Robert Johnson, who played mostly on street corners and juke joints with little commercial success or public recognition in his short life (1911-1938), traded his soul to the devil in exchange for his incredible technique that influenced everyone from Muddy Waters to The Rolling Stones.

That myth is the foundation for York Walker's new work, Covenant, which will be presented as a work in progress in an online digital play reading by Arizona Theatre Company.

Covenant explores the power of belief and tests the thin veil between rumor and truth when a guitar player returns to his small town two years after his sudden disappearance as a blues star, setting in motion rumors that he made that deal with the devil.

Directed by Tamilla Woodward, Erron Crawford will take on the role of Johnny "Honeycomb" James and will be joined in the production by Kishia Nixon (Ruthie), Sydney Banks (Violet), Jessica Johnson (Avery) and Kimberly Fairbanks (Mama). Ido Levran is the Technical Director, Mathew DeVore is the Sound Designer. Stage directions will be provided by Miguel Jackson and Glenn Bruner is the Stage Manager.

Covenant will be accessible on ATC's website (www.arizonatheatre.org) as well as on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo from 5 p.m., Oct. 28 to 5 p.m., Nov. 1. There is no charge to view the play, but donations to Arizona Theatre Company are encouraged and will be greatly appreciated.

Covenant is the next in a series of virtual performances offered by Arizona Theatre Company until it is safe to return to live performances in 2021.

"I have been a York Walker fan for over a decade and it's a real honor to be able to invite him to ATC in a moment where he's been so celebrated - having just won the inaugural Colman Domingo Award," said ATC Artistic Director Sean Daniels. "Also, it's important for our audience to see what plays look like at the beginning - every great August Wilson, Eugene O'Neill, Shakespeare etc. was once an early draft, learning from each reading. I have no doubt York has a bright future ahead of him, and we will always be proud to say we knew him when!"

Community events surrounding the virtual performance include:

• Creatives in Conversation Campfire, Saturday, Oct. 31, 3 p.m., Facebook LIVE: Warmup with hosts Chanel Bragg and Will Rogers as they join members of the cast and creative team of Covenant to share stories of horror, the spirit world and the digital rehearsal room. Don't miss this bone-chilling conversation just in time for Halloween.

• Cohort Play Reading Club, Monday, November 2, 4pm: Through an expanded relationship with United Colours of Arizona Theatre, Cohorts are invited to this private reading and discussion of York Walker's Summer of '63. These programs are made available to members of our free community groups, ATCteens and ATC Cohort Club. Visit arizonatheatre.org to join.

• The Horror of Playwriting: An ATCteen Workshop, Friday, October 30, 3pm. York Walker hosts this special workshop on writing for the horror genre.

For more information about these events and upcoming digital offerings at www.arizonatheatre.com/covenant.

Covenant will be followed by The Realness by Idris Goodwin, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian - ATC Premiere November 2020.

ATC has announced that it will bring live theatre back to the Temple of Music & Art in Tucson in January and the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix in February - albeit to limited audiences - with an entertaining and engaging six-show Mainstage Season chosen by Daniels.

In addition to live theatre, ATC will release an exclusive limited-time broadcast of each performance for ticket holders uncomfortable returning to the theatre to view at home. Exclusive show broadcasts will be shot on opening night with three cameras and will be produced for at-home viewing.

Audiences for live performances will be limited to approximately 25 percent of theatre capacity, and shows will be held under strict Arizona Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-protection guidelines.

The season opens with ATC Artistic Director Daniels directing the delightful award-winning musical, My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend, created by Charissa Bertels, Christian Duhamel and Edward Bell, Jan. 23-Feb. 13 in Tucson and Feb. 18-March 7 in Phoenix.

It will be followed by a new musical about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor, the first two women to serve on the United States Supreme Court, Justice A Musical, written by Lauren Gunderson, with lyrics by Kait Kerrigan and music by Brian Lowdermilk, March 13 to April 3 in Tucson and April 8-25 in Phoenix; Nina Simone: Four Women, written by Christina Ham, directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene, April 24-May 15 in Tucson, May 20-June 6 in Phoenix; Women in Jeopardy!, Wendy MacLeod's riotous comedy, directed by Daniels, Tucson June 5-26 and in Phoenix July 1-8; how to make an American Son, by ATC Artistic Associate christopher oscar peña, directed by Kimberly Senior, a co-production with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Tucson July 17-August 7 and in Phoenix Aug. 12-29; and The Legend of Georgia McBride, written by Matthew Lopez and directed by Meredith McDonough, Tucson Sept. 25-Oct. 16 and in Phoenix Oct. 21-Nov. 7.



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