Announcing Crowded Fire's 2019 Season!
Crowded Fire Theater (CFT) Crowded Fire's Artistic Director Mina Morita unveiled the 2019 mainstage season lineup including two new plays that continue to uphold the company's long tradition of creating boundary-pushing theater.
For 21 years, Crowded Fire has provided a vital home in San Francisco for artists who are exploring what culture means in our rapidly shifting world. This constantly evolving city has challenged and inspired the company, but as the city continues to shift into its newest form, the idea of home becomes an absorbing one, as displacement of artists and friends becomes a spector that is more and more present. Crowded Fire's 2019 season takes a closer look at some of the hardships and harm - and the love, despite of or because of all the rest - that are found at home.
The season begins with the West Coast premiere of Lucy Thurber's TRANSFERS (2/28-3/23), a brilliantly-written play that strips the veneer off of meritocracy and asks us if we are willing to sacrifice ourselves to find a path to a new life. TRANSFERS will be directed by Ken Savage. The season continues with the return of playwright Christina Anderson for the West Coast premiere of INKED BABY (9/12-10/5), a show that questions how and why we hold onto land and family, even when both seem toxic and the future tenuous. INKED BABY will be directed by Crowded Fire Resident Artist Lisa Marie Rollins.
In addition to the mainstage productions presented at the Potrero Stage, Crowded Fire will continue to develop new plays through The Matchbox: New Play Development Program which commissions, facilitates workshops & writing labs, and presents public readings of new plays in progress. While much of this work goes on behind closed doors, in November each year, the Matchbox Reading Series invites audience members to see these works in progress. Artists and play selections will be announced in the summer of 2019.
TRANSFERS by Lucy Thurber
Crowded Fire presents the West Coast Premiere of Transfers by playwright Lucy Thurber, directed by Ken Savage March 1-March 24. Miles away from the South Bronx where they grew up, two students unexpectedly rediscover each other on the eve of an interview that will determine their entire future. Each are looking to transfer to a prestigious northeast college, on the scholastic and athletic merits that the school has placed on them and deemed worthy. As they prepare to bare their souls and show the faculty what they think they want, Cristofer and Clarence have to decide whether to stick to their personal integrity or choose what they are willing to fake in order to call this beautiful brick-and-ivy bastion of privilege home.
INKED BABY by Christina Anderson
Christina Anderson returns to Crowded Fire with the West Coast Premiere of Inked Baby, directed by Lisa Marie Rollins September 12-October 5. Desperate to have a child and distrustful of artificial methods, Gloria and her husband Greer decide to conceive a child by natural means, with the help of Gloria's sister Lena. The sex is good, the insemination successful -- and yet affection is just out of reach for everyone involved. As Lena's pregnancy develops and relationships become ever-more strained, a strange contamination begins to affect the township's health, bringing the family's choices and their mortality into question. Crowded Fire is thrilled to welcome back the nationally-lauded Anderson after producing the world-premiere of her first play, Drip, in 2009, and Good Goods in 2012.
THE PLAYWRIGHTS AND DIRECTORS
Lucy Thurber (playwright) is the author of seven plays: Where We're Born, Ashville, Scarcity, Killers and Other Family, Stay, Bottom of the World, and Monstrosity. Her work has been produced at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Atlantic Theater Company, and the Tribeca Theater Festival. She was the recipient of the 2000/2001 Manhattan Theatre Club playwriting fellowship, and was a guest artist at The Perseverance Theater twice. She has had readings and workshops at The Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, The New Group, Primary Stages, WET at The Eugene O'Neill Playwrights' Center, MCC, Encore Theatre in San Francisco, PlayPenn, Williamstown, New River Dramatists, and Soho Rep. Lucy is a member of MCC Playwrights' Coalition, Primary Stages writing group, 13P, and New Dramatists.
Christina Anderson's (playwright) plays include How to Catch Creation, pen/man/ship, The Ashes Under Gait City, Man in Love, Blacktop Sky, Hollow Roots, and Drip. Her work has appeared at The Public Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Penumbra Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, and other theaters in the United States and Canada. Awards and honors: Inaugural Harper Lee Award for Playwriting, MacDowell Colony Fellowship, three Susan Smith Blackburn nominations, and Woursell Prize Finalist. Christina is a resident playwright at New Dramatists, Epic Theatre Ensemble, and a DNAWORKS Ensemble member.
Ken Savage (director) is a San Francisco theater director and the Associate Producer at American Conservatory Theater, where he is the line producer for the mainstage, M.F.A. program, Young Conservatory, and A.C.T.'s annual New Strands Festival. As a new works producer, he has shepherded new works by Lucy Thurber/Casey Lee Hurt, Susan Soon He Stanton/Mina Morita, Dipika Guha/Jeremy Cohen, Christopher Chen/Byron Au Yong, Marisela Treviño Orta, Lucas Kavner, Lauren Yee, Don Nguyen, and Dustin Chinn. Ken has worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater, Arena Stage, CalShakes, and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Select directing credits: Tinderella: A Modern Musical (Custom Made Theatre Co. and Faultline Theater Company), The Mechanics of Love, The Aliens, The River Bride (A.C.T. M.F.A program), Spring Awakening (Stanford University director-in-residence), Sweeney Todd (SFBATCO), My Fair Lady (Broadway By the Bay). In development: Red Waters (an EDM musical about Qing Dynasty pirate queen Ching Shih) co-conceived with Kyle Ewalt and Gravity: A New(tonian) Musical (2017 O'Neill Finalist, 2016 TheatreWorks New Works Festival). He is a Stanford graduate (M.A. Communication with a focus on virtual reality and performance, B.A. Drama) and the recipient of the Silicon Valley Creates Artist Laureate Emerging Artist Award (2015). kensavageproductions.com
Lisa Marie Rollins (director) is a freelance director, writer and new play developer. She is co-facilitator for CFT's Resilience and Development New Play Lab. She is a Sundance Institute Theatre Lab Fellow (Directing)and a Directors Lab West member. Regional directing and dramaturg work include Crowded Fire Theater, Playwright Foundation, TheatreFirst, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Shotgun Players, Custom Made Theatre, Magic Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse and new plays by Lauren Gunderson, Geetha Reddy, Idris Goodwin, Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, and creative collaborations with comedic artists W. Kamau Bell and Zahra Noorbakash. She has been a writing fellow with Djerassi, SF Writers Grotto, CALLALOO London, VONA, Just Theater Play Lab and Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency. She is currently developing her new plays Token and Love is Another Country. Love is Another Country will have its World Premiere with Coin and Ghost Theater Company in Los Angeles Feb 2019. She holds graduate degrees from Claremont Graduate University and University of California, Berkeley and is Distinguished Guest Artist Faculty at St Mary's College in Performance Studies. Her new chapbook of poems, Other Words for Grief (2018, winner, Mary Tanenbaum Literary Award ) is now available from Finishing Line Press. She is currently a Resident Artist with Crowded Fire Theater and Artist-in-Residence at BRAVA Theater for Women in San Francisco.