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Kennedy Center to Livestream EVERY 28 HOURS PLAYS Preview

As part of the kick-off event for the 2016 Kennedy Center (KC) American College Theater Festival, a special preview of the EVERY 28 HOURS PLAYS will be performed and livestreamed as part of KC's Millennium Stage Series. The preview consists of an excerpt of the collection with more than 30 one-minute plays inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, with participation by theater makers and institutions across the nation and showcases the creative outcome of a community outreach residency in Ferguson and St. Louis County, Missouri in the fall of 2015.

Playwrights for this preview feature alumni of the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program (Kirsten Greenidge, Ike Holter, Dominique Morisseau, Jerome A. Parker, Aurin Squire) and Kennedy Center Playwriting Guest Artists (Migdalia Cruz, Kristoffer Diaz, Idris Goodwin, Neil LaBute, Jacqueline E. Lawton, Lisa Loomer, Aaron Posner, Robert Schenkkan, Anu Yadav, and many others, including Colman Domingo, Psalmayene 24, David Henry Hwang, Tarell Alvin MacCraney, Universes, Keith Josef Adkins, Stew, Josh Wilder, and Lynn Nottage). These artists, along with other local, theater making luminaries. give their voices to stories of pain and perseverance in the face of death, rage in the heart of protest, and hope for a future that values black and other marginalized lives.

The EVERY 28 HOURS PLAYS continues this important human and civil rights conversation in a political season where the evolution of our policies, practices and mind-sets are at stake. This event aims to serve as an important reminder of how theater arts can meld with activism and enact real change. To have these plays, followed by a conversation led by Thembi Duncan of Young Playwrights' Theater, presented in front of students making their entry into the field of the performing arts and in the nation's capital is one important goal for the producers and artistic collaborators involved in the project.

The culminating effect of The Every 28 Hours Plays as already performed in St. Louis, San Francisco and Providence, R.I., is a relentless one. Once the plays start rolling out they do not quit - with a new play, idea, tone and view-point taking hold every minute and building on one another; even Nikole Salter's haunting finale piece doesn't shake off easily. By the plays' end an audience has been taken through a rollercoaster of emotions that raises consciousness and correctly hones in on the gravity of this issue.

An acting company of 30 will present the work, drawn from leading actors from the professional DC theater community, including Tonya Beckman, Frank Britton, J.J. Johnson, Joy Jones, Christopher Lane, Jeff Kirkman, Manu Kumasi, Fatima Quander, and Justin Weaks, as well as students and alumni from Howard University, University of Maryland, Catholic University of America.

For interested and invested audience members who wish to watch this special preview from their homes, the livestream can be viewed here:


"The "Every 28 Hours" project taps into the integral role that the arts - through songs, paintings, exhibits - have played in helping people to absorb, and protest, what happened in Ferguson - from the killing of Mr. Brown and the unrest that followed to the issues of racial inequality that it raised." John Eligon , NY Times

Produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival under the leadership of Claudia Alick (OSF's community producer) and The One-Minute Play Festival Producing Artistic Director, Dominic D'Andrea, the #Every28Hours project is a national partnership of theater artists and institutions. The title is inspired by the widely shared and contested statistic that every twenty-eight hours a black person is killed by a vigilante, security guard, or the police in the United States. This project inspired by our current civil rights movement aims to creates healthy spaces for our communities to creatively engage with this important and sensitive subject.

The heart of the project is the collection of over 70 plays which are developing in 3 phases.

The curatorial process was open and during Phase One the producers connected with theatres and playwrights around the country to curate plays and to send artists to St. Louis in October of 2015 to develop the work on the ground. The producers also connected with thought leaders in communications, activism, law enforcement and national theatrical collaboration to educate internally for their mission, which includes helping organizations navigate the complicated territory of race, representation, and justice.

During Phase Two, in association with local St. Louis theater maker and producer Jacqueline Thompson (Assistant Professor of Acting and Directing, University of Missouri-St. Louis), and many St. Louis Theaters and institutions, 23 national guest artists engaged in a week of artistic exchange St. Louis-based artists. Some enlightening highlights involved a lecture in UMSL Touhill Theatre by Dr. Terry Jones on race relations, and the history of St. Louis that led to the events in Ferguson; a meeting with Duane Fosters' students at Normandy High School (Michael Brown's school); a tour of Ferguson with St. Louis artist/activist Marty Casey; and a facilitated conversation with activists, artivists, and a police officer at The Urban League. This community engagement and artistic exploration seeded a rich environment to write more original plays on-site that were then integrated with the at-large collection. This collaboration was done with approximately 12 different theaters in St. Louis. The entire collection of plays was then presented as staged readings in St. Louis at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and in Ferguson at the Dellwood Recreation Center, on October 23, 2015.

Phase Three, which is the current phase of the project, consists of the plays being done all over the United States with concentrated programming taking place in October of 2016. Theaters like Trinity Repertory Theatre on the east coast and American Conservatory Theater on the west coast produced their own engagements in October of 2015. The Kennedy Center's presentation as part of the American College Theater Festival is the first engagement of this year.

Martin Wilkins, National New Play Network Producer-in-Residence at Actors Theatre of Charlotte and O'Neill National directing Fellow, will direct with Vaughn Midder, University of Maryland Alumni, and Gus Heagerty, former Kennedy Center Kenan Fellow and assistant director at the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Plans for a full October engagement with the piece for the larger DC community is being spearheaded by the Kennedy Center and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company with the goal of rallying many more DC theaters behind the project's mission.


"We are in a time of change for the U.S. and the reflection on this current Civil Rights Movement is exciting because of the power and number of talented voices collaborating. Our project is informed by thoughtful leaders in activism, performance, civic leadership and communications. The work is hard and inspiring and necessary."- Claudia Alick, OSF

Founded by Angus Bowmer in 1935 and winner of a 1983 Tony Award for outstanding achievement in regional theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival presents an eight month season of 11 plays that include works by Shakespeare as well as a mix of classics, musicals, and new works. The Festival also draws attendance of more than 400,000 to almost 800 performances every year and employs approximately 575 theatre professionals. In 2008 OSF launched American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle, a 10­year cycle of commissioning new plays that has already resulted in several OSF commissions finding success nationwide.

"The Every 28 Hours Plays is an exciting and necessary project to be doing at this place and time. The deep injustices that marginalized populations face in this country are staggering-and no place better represents this tension than in Ferguson. As artists we felt it was our responsibility to create an artistic space to respond to questions of race, injustice, and civic responsibility on a local and national platform." - Dominic D'Andrea, #1MPF

The One­­Minute Play Festival (#1MPF) is the nation's largest and longest running grass roots theatre festival company, founded by Dominic D'Andrea. #1MPF is social barometer project that investigates the zeitgeist of different communities and populations through dialogue, consensus building and a performance of moments generated by each community.

Contributors, Supporters and Collaborators include: Keith Josef Adkins, Christina Alexander, Zakiyyah Alexander, Claudia Alick, American Conservatory Theater, American Theater Company, Michael Amoroso, Rick Andersen, Artists Against Oppression, Brian Bauman, Matt Belanger, Nancy Bell, Kathryn Bentley, Toni Blackman, Florinda Bryant, Jess Carr, Marty Casey, Center Theatre Group, Katie Christie, Rosa Clemente, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Eric Coble, Migdalia Cruz, Valerie Curtis ­Newton, D'Lo, Dominic D'Andrea, Alan David, Dellwood Recreation Center, Kristoffer Diaz, Tamika Diggs, Phillip Dixon, Colman Domingo, Dyalekt, Fahari Arts Institute, Mario Farwell, Larissa FastHorse, Brittany Ferrell, Fishtank Performance Studio, Adam Flores, Forum Theatre, Kevin R. Free, Ryan Lawd Gabriel, Sigrid Gilmer, Prince Gomolvilas, Idris Goodwin, Martine Kei Green­Rogers, Kirsten Greenidge, Chelsea Gregory, Guthrie Theater, Rachel Hanks, Hansberry Project, Grant Harris, Amina Henry, Britteny Henry, Gregg Henry, Ike Holter, Cynthia Howell, Chisa Hutchinson, David Henry Hwang, Amaka Izuchi, Aaron Jafferis, Chantal Jean­Pierre, Morgan Jenness, DeAnna Jent, Keith P. Jones, Lily Junker, Nambi Kelly, Kennedy Center, Kila Kitu, Derek Kolluri, Kranzberg Arts Center, Shishir Kurup, Neil LaBute, Joshua Lamont, Jacqueline E. Lawton, Alicia Like, Joan Lipkin, Lisa Loomer, Suzan Lori­Parks, Robert Maesaka, Jake Margolin, McCarter Theatre, Rebecca Martinez, Don McClendon, Tarrel Alvin MacCraney, Quinn McGowan, Jim McManus, Bonnie Metzgar, Patricia Mitchell, Richard Montoya, Leroy F. Moore, Jr., Dominique Morisseau, Lisa Q Mounte, Mustard Seed Theatre, Jonathan Norton, Lynn Nottage, Jon Hudson Odom, Carl Overly, Jr., Jerome A. Parker, Steve Peirick, Perfect Disgrace, Liza Jesse Peterson, Reggie Pierre, Em Piro, Mark Plesant, Aaron Posner, Psalmayene 24, Shruti Purkayastha, Andrea Purnell, Sue Ann Reed, Regional Arts Commission, Greg Reiner, Ralph Remington, Brandon V. Riley, Erin Renee Roberts, Mildred Ruiz­-Sapp, Anthem Salgado, Salt House Collective, Nikkole Salter, Salvage Vanguard Theater, Steven Sapp, Robert Schenkkan, Maalik Shakoor, Fox Smith, Sojourn Theatre, Aurin Squire, St. Louis Rep Theater, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Stew, Harold Stewart, Syd Stewart, Gisla Stringer, Rebecca Struch, TeAda Productions, That Uppity Theatre Company, The St. Louis Black Rep, The Dark Room, The Flea Theater, The Hansberry Project, The National Black Theater, The TEAM, Jacqueline Thompson, Lucy Thurber, Trinity Rep, Mellisa Ulto, UMSL Department of Theatre, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc., Urban Theatre Movement, Mark Valdez, Heidi Van, Voices United, Christopher Ware, Kelley Webber, Josh Wilder, Joe Wilson, Jr., Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Working Theater, Anu Yadav, Chrishnelle Joie Young, Penn State University, and counting.

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