Crowded Fire Announces 2020 Season
Crowded Fire Theater (CFT) Crowded Fire's Artistic Director Mina Morita unveiled the 2020 mainstage season lineup including two new plays that uphold the company's long tradition of collaborative work and boundary-pushing theater.
Crowded Fire is celebrating 22 years of providing a vital home in San Francisco to artists who are exploring what culture means in our rapidly shifting world. But home is not without its ghosts, and artists are not immune from either side of the displacement equation. This season, Crowded Fire's plays examine the magic, the fear, and the moral choices we all make when we choose to be at home in the global cultural mosaic that is the City by the Bay.
The season begins with the American premiere of a new English translation of Sedef Ecer's AT THE PERIPHERY (2/23-4/4), a magical tale of home and hope set in the urban slums of Istanbul. This co-production with Golden Thread Productions will be directed by Erin Gilley. The season continues with the West Coast premiere of THE DISPLACED (9/10-10/3) by Isaac Gomez, a vengeful haunting and exorcism that questions who is complicit in gentrification. THE DISPLACED will be directed by Crowded Fire Artistic Director Mina Morita.
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 2020.
AT THE PERIPHERY, by Sedef Ecer, translated from the Turkish by Evren Odcikin
Set in Istanbul and Paris, AT THE PERIPHERY is a new play that focuses on the rarely told stories of migrants in Istanbul's urban slums. Farmers Dilcha and Bilo leave their home in the countryside to make a life in the big city. Young lovers Azad and Tamar appeal to superstar Sultane's reality TV show to realize their dream of a life in France. Outsider Kybelee finds home in a shack she has made with her own hands. Ecer's new play takes a lyrical, funny, and deeply human look at hope and home against all odds.
THE DISPLACED, by Isaac Gomez
Marísa and Lev, a couple whose rocky relationship is already clouded by ghosts of the past, are moving into a historic Chicago apartment when a dark and mysterious message appears. Soon, the couple is united in -- and divided by -- terror, as the previous tenants make their pain known. THE DISPLACED is a rollicking horror story that explores what lingers when gentrification pushes people out of their homes. Gomez's razor-sharp script questions who is complicit in an act that leaves deep scars on homes and communities.
THE PLAYWRIGHTS AND DIRECTORS
Sedef Ecer (playwright) was born in Istanbul, where she grew up in the world of movie-making, theatre and television. She has written numerous articles or opinion pieces for national newspapers or magazines, novels, screenplays, explored new genres with transmedia stories and translated Charlotte Delbo, and Saint-Exupery's works into Turkish. But her major work is in the field of theater, in French. Now living in Paris and writing in French, her plays are published by Les Editions de l'Amandier, Les Editions l'Espace d'un Instant, Lansman and l'Avant-Scène in France, and translated into Polish, Turkish, Armenian, German, Greek, and English. Ms. Ecer's plays have been seen across Europe at venues including Metz Opera House, National Theatre Le Liberté, Théâtre du Peuple, Aalen Stadt Theater, and Théâtre National de Strasbourg. She is one of the three women writers who founded the Parlement des Ecrivaines Francophones, and is entered in the 2014 Dictionnaire Universel des Créatrices (The Universal Dictionary of Women Creators Worldwide, supported by Unesco). She is represented by Zelig in France, Merlin Verlag in Germany, and Habitus in Turkey. https://www.sedefecer.com
Isaac Gomez (playwright) is a Chicago-based playwright, dramaturg and educator, originally from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. His plays include La Ruta (developed at Primary Stages, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, and Pivot Arts); Wally World (Sideshow Theater Company commission); PerKup Elkhorn (developed at Northlight Theatre Company and Chicago Dramatists); The Way She Spoke: A docu-mythologia (Greenhouse Theater Center); The Displaced (Haven Theatre); Throwaway Kids (Cunningham Commission for Youth Theatre - The Theatre School at DePaul University); The Alchemist (Actors Theatre of Louisville acting apprentice new play commission). Other companies he's worked with include Victory Gardens Theater, American Theater Company, Teatro Vista, Definition Theater Company, Jackalope Theatre, Broken Nose Theater, Stage Left, and Something Marvelous. As dramaturg he has worked with Victory Gardens Theater, Goodman Theatre, Teatro Vista, Oracle Productions, Strange Bedfellows, and Sideshow Theater Company. He is a recipient of the Jeffry Melnick New Playwright Award at Primary Stages, the co-creative director at the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists in Chicago where he runs and is a participant of El Semillero: ALTA Chicago's Latino Playwrights Circle, a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, an artistic associate with Victory Gardens Theater, an ensemble member with Teatro Vista, an artistic associate with Pivot Arts, the artistic curator for Theater on the Lake 2017/2018, a steering committee member of the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) and an artistic community member at The Hypocrites. He is a professional lecturer at The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Erin Gilley (director) is a director and video projection designer. Recent projection design credits include: Shotgun Players' Women Laughing Alone with Salad, Kings, and White; and Golden Thread's Scenes from 71* Years. Other notable credits include directing and projection design for San Francisco's immersive theatre production The Speakeasy (Boxcar Theatre), the international digital theatre production Longitude (LIFT/elastic future), and The Technology Cave in The Lily's Revenge (Magic Theatre). Upcoming projects include projection design for Elevada at Shotgun Players, and directing the immersive haunted house Unhinged at Winchester Mystery House. Erin studied theatre as an undergraduate at Princeton University and received her MFA from Birkbeck, University of London. www.eringilley.com
Mina Morita (director) is Crowded Fire's Artistic Director, and has previously served as the Artistic Associate at Berkeley Repertory Theatre-and a founding member of its Ground Floor program; as Board President of Shotgun Players; as a 2014 Lincoln Center Director's Lab participant; as one of the founding members of Bay Area Children's Theatre; as Community Arts Panelist with the Zellerbach Family Foundation; and Guest Artist at UC Berkeley and Stanford University. She is a recipient of Theatre Bay Area's 2014 award for Best Director of a Musical: Tier II and TBA's 2016, 40@40 award for her impact on Bay Area Theater. In 2015, Mina was honored to share her story on TEDx, and in 2016, she was chosen as one of the YBCA100, for "asking questions and making provocations that will shape the future of culture." She has had the privilege of directing the following plays among many: Crazy Wisdom by Scoop Nisker @ Berkeley Rep, Both Your Houses by Susan Stanton @ A.C.T.'s M.F.A. Program, Aulis: An Act Of Nihilism In One Long Act by Christopher Chen @ Zellerbach Playhouse, Sisters Matsumoto by Philip Kan Gotanda @ CenterRep (Shellie nominated for best direction), By and By by Lauren Gunderson & The Great Divide by Adam Chanzit @ Shotgun Players, co-directed The Shipment by Young Jean Lee (TBA nominated for best direction, and award winner for best ensemble), as well as directing Young Jean Lee's Church, Blackademics by Idris Goodwin, A Tale of Autumn by Christopher Chen, and Death Become Life: Banish Darkness with Star Finch, Ensemble Mik Nawooj and Axis Dance company @ Crowded Fire. Special assistant directing credits include Tony Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide... and Sarah Ruhl's Tony-nominated In the Next Room... @ Berkeley Rep. In 2012, Mina worked with Anna Deavere Smith as the artistic coordinator for On Grace. Upcoming this October: The Chinese Lady by Lloyd Suh @ The Magic Theatre.