The Hansberry Project Presents REPRESENT! A Multicultural Playwrights Festival, Now thru 7/22


The Hansberry Project has announced the lineup for the 2nd Annual "REPRESENT! A Multicultural Playwrights Festival" today, July 17 through July 22 at ACT Theatre. A joint venture with eSe Teatro, SIS Productions, Pratidhwani, and ACT Theatre’s Central Heating Lab, this year’s festival will feature staged readings of four new full-length plays, an evening dedicated specifically to showcasing the work of six very talented local writers, and the opportunity to meet all of the writers.

“We are so excited to be able to host the festival again this year”, said The Hansberry Project’s Artistic Director Valerie Curtis-Newton. “The goal, in all of our work as ethnically specific theatre companies, is always to entertain and engage audiences by sharing insights about life in our specific communities - the dreams, fears, passions, virtues and faults that drive them. The writers we’ve chosen for this year’s festival are all committed to the same goal. And they are all amazing at it!” Praditwhani’s Agastya Kohli agrees and adds, "In addition to getting the 'Pratidhwani' name out there, Represent! gives us a unique opportunity to present the work of South Asian playwrights and actors in front of a more mainstream audience."

The heart of REPRESENT! is a series of full length readings by some of the most exciting playwrights on the national scene. Each reading will be followed by a talk back with the playwrights. The selected plays are:

PARADISE BLUE by Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton

Paradise Blue takes a look at the changing face of Detroit’s Blackbottom neighborhood in 1949 where an old jazz spot and rooming house known as Paradise Club is kept alive by its resident bebop band. Headed by the troubled trumpeter, Blue, the band and club struggle to survive in the face of the city’s plan to uproot the entire neighborhood. But when a mysterious woman comes to Blackbottom with her own plans and a walk that drives men crazy, she pulls out a bag of tricks that no one is prepared for. Not the city. Not the band. And certainly not Blue. Paradise Blue is the second in a three-play cycle, Ms. Morrisseau is writing about Detroit.

Directed by Lonnie Tristan Renteria

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Homeless in Seattle, is inspired by Ms. Cano’s work as a Spanish Medical Interpreter at Harborview Hospital. The play examines a strained healthcare system and the intersection between homelessness, mental health and chronic inebriation among Latinos. Based on the iconic 16th century icons by Miguel de Cervantes, these modern day homeless Latino immigrants wander through Seattle streets and hospitals while trying to maintain their dignity as gentlemen.

Directed by Agastya Kohli

The Banyan Tree Trilogy explores the clashes that result when immigrant Indians try to hold on to the values and customs of their homeland as the next generation readily adopts the ways of the new land. Three different stories give us a peak into some of the trials of modern Indian-American life: A house wife strives to find purpose with her new found empty nest, a son's personal revelation tests his father's value system and their already strained relationship, and an immigrant Indian engages in a comedic dual of wits with an Indian-American lawyer over charges of fraud.

FIGHT by Kimber Lee
Directed by Kathy Hsieh

Fight marks the return of Ms. Lee to SIS – where she was a founding member of their Writers’ Group. The play follows Dani Perez as she learns what does it take to be a fighter. On the run from the oppressive silence of her aunt's apartment, Dani starts training at the boxing gym where her estranged father once reigned supreme. As she learns the sweet science of boxing, she finds that victory in the ring comes not only through strength and speed, but also through persistence, hard work, and having the heart to face her fears and never give up.

REPRESENT! kicks off the week with a local writers’ showcase featuring some of Seattle’s writing talent. The playwrights included in the showcase will be announced at a later date.

July 17 - Local Writers Showcase and Festival Kick Off (Allen Theatre)

July 18 - eSe Teatro: Don Quixote: Homeless in Seattle by Rose Cano

July 19 - Pratidhwani: The Banyan Tree Trilogy by Tulika Kumar

July 20 - SIS Prod: Fight by Kimber Lee

July 21 - Hansberry Project: Paradise Blue by Dominique Morriseau

The festival will close with a marathon on 7/22 in which audiences can see versions of any or all of the shows in one day. The schedule of performance for the marathon is:

July 22 – Playwrights Marathon

5:30pm FIGHT

All events will take place in the “Lalie” Theatre at ACT Theatre. Tickets are $5 and are available at the ACT Theatre Ticket Office at 700 Union Street, open daily M-F from 12 noon until 7 p.m., (206) 292-7676.

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