BWW Video: Watch Arena Stage's World-Premiere Film May 22, 2020

By: Jun. 13, 2020
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BWW Video: Watch Arena Stage's World-Premiere Film May 22, 2020

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater's docudrama, May 22, 2020 is now live. The film received its world premiere on June 12 through Arena's Supper Club, captures a day in the life of actual Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia residents, ages 18-89, from a beekeeper, a climate change activist to a D.C. police detective. Their rich stories, transformed into monologues by 10 area playwrights, are a stunning look at their lives in the age of COVID-19.

"The concept of May 22, 2020 was to capture a moment in time that will never occur again," said Arena Stage Artistic Director and film director Molly Smith. "This was our opportunity to catch the zeitgeist of the moment."

Playwrights interviewed residents on May 22, 2020 and created 10 one-person narratives. Filmed in and around Southwest, D.C., the story of each resident is portrayed by 10 actors well-known to Washington's theater audiences: Guadalupe Campos, JaBen Early, Edward Gero, Shubhangi Kuchibhotla, Raksa Lim, Nancy Robinette, KenYatta Rogers, Holly Twyford, Dawn Ursula and Rachel Zampelli.

"It was important that this film included residents from Washington's diverse communities from all walks of life," continued Smith. "Whether it was a 30-something nurse working on the COVID-19 ward, a senior citizen who lives alone or the social justice activist fighting against food poverty and more, we were honored to have their voices in this film."

Featured playwrights include Randy Baker, Audrey Cefaly, Annalisa Dias, Caleen Sinnette Jennings, Aaron Posner, Psalmayene 24, John Strand, Gregory Keng Strasser, Mary Hall Surface and Karen Zacarías. Arena's artistic leader Molly Smith, Deputy Artistic Director Seema Sueko and Director of Community Engagement/Senior Artistic Advisor Anita Maynard-Losh directed the monologues.

To view May 22, 2020, click below.