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COCA Unveils New Play Festival COCAwrites: Plays On Zoom

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COCA, the Center of Creative Arts, announced today Academy Award winning screenwriter and Tony-nominated playwright, Tarell Alvin McCraney will join as special guest for COCA's new play festival, COCAwrites: Plays on Zoom. From submissions received from all over the world, a selection of new short plays and musicals will be presented as international premieres online May 8 at 7 p.m. A Q&A with McCraney will follow the free performances to discuss his work and the challenges of writing in a time of social distance.

COCAwrites: Plays on Zoom marks the launch of new virtual and on-site offerings beginning this summer and fall for young theatre artists timed to take up residency in COCA's new Berges Theatre, a state-of-the-art 450-seat venue central to the organization's new expanded campus in St. Louis, set to open yet this year.

"This festival is just the start of COCA's broader commitment to boost theatre for multi-generational audiences in St. Louis and beyond," said Jennifer Wintzer, COCA's Artistic Director of Theatre. "COCAwrites highlights COCA's commitment to bolster the training and professionalism of our students as they become vital forces in a new generation of theatre."

Student and adult playwrights have the opportunity to submit their plays by April 27 at midnight for consideration. The festival will include musicals and four plays (two from student playwrights and two from adults) chosen by a committee of St. Louis playwrights and COCA students. They will be performed by a cast of COCA students and professional actors from St. Louis and New York. The two student playwrights and members of COCA's vocal companies will have their work read by McCraney and receive a private coaching session.

McCraney joins the festival's directors Jacqueline Thompson, a St. Louis Visionary Award Winner, Kern McFadden from NYU's Stella Adler Studio and Amelia Acosta Powell from The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Colin Healy, COCA Vocal Co Director and Artistic Dir of Fly North Theatricals, will lead COCA's students in the creation of new musicals. Delaney Piggins is the festival's dramaturg.


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