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Bay Area Playwrights Fest Announces Artists and Added Events

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The 2021 BAPF features ten readings of five new works, including Jaisey Bates’ Real Time remix.

Bay Area Playwrights Fest Announces Artists and Added Events

Playwrights Foundation has announced the artistic teams for this summer's 44th annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF). The casts for BAPF's live streamed readings spotlight acclaimed actors including TV/film actor and theatre mainstay Emily Kuroda, known for her role as Mrs. Kim in "Gilmore Girls," as well as Bay Area theatre veterans Halili Knox, Tasi Alabastro, Keiko Shimosato Carreiro and Michael Ray Wisely, plus many others. Acclaimed theatre makers and scholars have been enlisted to aid the playwrights as content experts helping to develop the worlds of their plays, including Tony Award-winning designer Clint Ramos (Broadway's Eclipsed, Violet, Once on This Island, Slave Play) serving as content expert for Sam Hamashima's Supposed Home and Wei Ming Dariotis, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, acting as content expert for Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin's Tiger Beat.

In addition, Playwrights Foundation has announced several special events in which members of the public can hear more about this year's playwrights, including their processes and inspirations - as well as sampler platter of other works. Events include the Honorable Mention & BAPF Staff Playslam, a late-night celebration offering excerpts from standout applications to this year's festival and stellar BAPF staff playwrights; a Conversation with the BAPF Playwrights; and Resident Playwrights Initiative (RPI) Snack Pack, an artistic showcase featuring Megan Cohen, Star Finch, Bennett Fisher, Nick Mwaluko, and Dan Wolf. Information on these events and others can be found online at playwrightsfoundation.org.

The 2021 BAPF features ten readings of five new works, including Jaisey Bates' Real Time remix, a new selection of short works in which four storytellers crisscross paths across dimensions; Miyoko Conley's Human Museum, a wildly imaginative drama depicting a future where a human museum is curated by robots; Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin's Tiger Beat, a coming of age story about pop stardom in the 2000s; Sam Hamashima's Supposed Home, a time-bending anime adventure investigating the lasting effects of the Japanese American Concentration Camps; and Johnny G. Lloyd's The Problem with Magic, Is:, a magical exploration of family, gentrification, and a spell gone wrong.

Bay Area Playwrights Festival runs July 16-25, 2021.The public may purchase streaming access on a sliding scale for individual readings ($5-20) or an All Access Festival Pass ($25-175). This pass includes access to all festival readings as well as an invitation to all events including two in-person gatherings 2-5pm PDT Sunday, July 18 and Sunday, July 25. Streaming tickets and more information are available at playwrightsfoundation.org or by calling 415-626-2176.

Bay Area Playwrights Festival is one of the nation's oldest and most successful new play development programs. Now led by Executive Artistic Director Jessica Bird Beza, the Festival was established in 1976 by acclaimed director Robert Woodruff, and has built a stellar reputation for discovering original and distinctive new voices in the theater, investing in the development of their work, and launching storied careers. The BAPF's ongoing success in supporting exceptional, newly emerging writers and launching their groundbreaking new work is its enduring legacy.

The Festival lineup is as follows:

Real Time remix

By Jaisey Bates
Co-directed by Jeanette Harrison and Nailah Harper-Malveaux
Dramaturgy by David Geary
5:30pm PDT Saturday, July 17 (by invitation only) · 11:30am PDT Sunday, July 25

Cast

One: Kaili Turner

Two: Jenny Marlowe

Three: TBD

Four: AeJay Mitchell

Production Assistant: Emily Preis

In Real Time remix, four storytellers crisscross paths across dimensions as they journey through this new selection of short works where words are alive and every breath is a riot of beauty, a revolutionary act of courage grit grace faith fire. In a mortally wounded world rapidly running out of time, how can we find ways to survive? To heal ourselves, our words, and our worlds, and to, together, thrive?

Human Museum

By Miyoko Conley
Directed by Bob Shryock
Dramaturgy by Divinia Shorter
11:30am PDT Sunday, July 18 · 5:30pm PDT Saturday, July 24

Cast

Avery: Natalia Duong

Delivery Bot: Cassie Grilley

Director: Indiia Willmot

Robot 65: Greg Ayers

Robot 237: Joyce Domanico-Huh

Scientist: Cathleen Riddley

Production Assistant: Katie Grant


Set in a future where humans have gone extinct, Human Museum follows a group of robots on Earth that run a museum dedicated to organizing the physical and digital artifacts of human life. On the centenary of human extinction, an unexpected radio call upends everything the robots thought they knew about the last days of humanity.

Tiger Beat

By Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin
Directed by Jessica Holt
Dramaturgy by Natalia Duong
11:30am PDT Saturday, July 17 · 5:30pm PDT Friday, July 23

Cast

Ashley: Sarah Traisman

JP: Chris Stevens

Mr. Johansson: Michael Ray Wisely

Poppy: Kimberly Hollkamp-Dinon

Tess: Katie Lee Hill

Vivian: Erin Mei-Ling Stuart

Content Expert: Wei Ming Dariotis

Production Assistant: Tessa Saito King

Tiger Beat follows the Girls Next Door, a pop girl group rising to fame in the early 2000's. The group's Asian American songwriter Tess finally gets a chance to sing lead, but the opportunity comes at what cost? This play with music is a coming of age story about pop stardom, 2003 fashion choices, and the pursuit of artistry on one's own terms.

Supposed Home

By Sam Hamashima
Directed by May Liang
Dramaturgy by Miranda Cornell
5:30pm PDT Sunday, July 18 · 11:30am PDT Saturday, July 24

Cast

Cactus/ Cat: Lisa Hori-Garcia
Grandson/ The Guard: Futaba Shioda

Old Shiyoko: Emily Kuroda

Rattlesnake: Keiko Shimosato Carreiro

Tanuki: Tasi Alabastro

Young Shiyoko: Sango Tajima

Content Expert: Clint Ramos

Production Assistant: Sabrina Sonner

Shiyo left the Japanese American Concentration Camps a long time ago...or so she thought. Past and present become one landscape for this anime adventure as enemies are revealed, companions are found, trauma is unpacked, and what was only thought becomes (un)spoken word.

The Problem with Magic, Is:

By Johnny G. Lloyd
Directed by Leigh Rondon-Davis

Dramaturgy by Adrena Williams
5:30pm Friday, July 16 · 5:30pm PDT Sunday, July 25

Cast

Clarence: Kenny Scott

Ila: Anna Marie Sharpe

Jabari: Dorian Lockett

Jodi: Summer Brown

Voice in the Darkness: Halili Knox

Production Assistant: Eliza Mascoll

After the death of their mother, Jodie goes back home to help her brother, Clarence, run the family magic shop. As the pressure to keep the business alive grows, they find themselves dealing not only with loss and new responsibility but also the forces of gentrification - and - a snake deity conjured from a spell gone wrong.

SPECIAL EVENTS:

A Conversation with the Playwrights of BAPF 2021

3pm PDT Saturday, July 17

Jaisey Bates, Miyoko Conley, Kaela Mae-Shin Garvin, Sam Hamashima, and Johnny G. Lloyd gather to discuss their plays, their writing processes, BAPF 2021, and the possibility for theatrical storytelling to provide healing during a year of many plagues.

Resident Playwrights Initiative (RPI) Snack Pack:

An Artistic Showcase featuring Megan Cohen, Star Finch,
Bennett Fisher, Nick Mwaluko and Dan Wolf
5:30pm PDT Wednesday, July 21

Audiences are invited to learn more about Playwrights Foundation's Resident Playwrights in an artistic snack sampler that investigates who they are as artists, explores their past work, and provides a sneak peek at work in process. Available to stream from the comfort of home, audience members can mingle with Resident Playwrights in an After Party directly following the event.

Honorable Mention & BAPF Staff Playslam

7:45pm PDT Friday, July 23 (following the reading of Tiger Beat)

In this hybrid event, a collection of honorable mention and BAPF staff playwrights from Potrero Stage to the East Coast will read short excerpts of their work aloud. Audiences are invited to attend a late-night celebration of some of the standout plays from behind the scenes of BAPF 2021.

Photo credit: Jim Norrena


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