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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley Streams "New Works Festival Online"
Mar 27, 2021
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will stream an advance look at tomorrow’s hits in "New Works Festival Online." Transforming the Tony Award-winning company’s hit annual festival into a virtual experience, "New Works Festival Online" offers digital audiences an extraordinary opportunity to view new plays and selections from new musicals and learn more about the development process in conversations with the playwrights. "New Works Festival Online" runs April 23 – May 15, 2021 with performances streaming live. Streaming access is available at pay what you can pricing ($10 minimum for a festival pass) at theatreworks.org.
“During this time of uncertainty for the arts, TheatreWorks has continued to foster innovative and boundary-breaking new plays and musicals,” said TheatreWorks Artistic Associate and Director of New Works Giovanna Sardelli. “We can’t wait to share these incredible artists and their projects. We’re thrilled to resume the New Works Festival once again, this time online!”
Among the musical highlights for the online festival: a sneak peek at the hit indie folk-rock musical "Lizard Boy," being revisited with updated material before it launches TheatreWorks’ 51st season this fall, and an innovative, digital theatre/rap piece inspired by the themes from "The Merchant of Venice" by the acclaimed group Bay Area Theatre Cypher. Plays include two works which examine the impact and ramifications of the Muslim travel ban — one a comedy exploring friendship in the time of war and the other a drama celebrating the human spirit during crises that divide — as well as a semi-autobiographical dance theatre piece about memory, grief, forgiveness, and freedom.
"New Works Festival Online" begins Friday, April 23 with a Kickoff Event, celebrating TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s current commissions and giving an advance peek at intriguing works in progress. Commissioned playwrights, composers, and theatre makers will speak about their projects and may present selections from their shows, including songs, monologues, or scenes. These artists include Min Kahng ("The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga"), The Kilbanes ("Weightless"), Lynn Rosen ("The Imperialists"), Geetha Reddy ("Safe House"), and Jiréh Breon Holder ("Too Heavy for Your Pocket").
Information about additional on-demand events will be available at a later date — these events will include a conversation with "A Distinct Society" playwright Kareem Fahmy and "As Soon As Impossible" playwright Betty Shamieh discussing their plays about the Muslim ban, and a conversation with TheatreWorks Director of Community Partnerships and Casting Director Jeffrey Lo and "Lizard Boy" playwright/composer-lyricist/actor Justin Huertas about working as Filipino-American theatre artists.
The Festival lineup is as follows:
READINGS OF MUSICALS:
Conceived by Dan Wolf
Developed with and directed by Sean San José
Performed and written by Dan Wolf, Phil Wong, DelinaDream, RyanNicole, Juan Amador
Composed by Keith Pinto
Saturday, April 24 at 2pm Pacific | 5pm Eastern
Book, Music, Lyrics by Justin Huertas
Directed by Brandon Ivie
Featuring Justin Huertas, Kirsten "Kiki" deLohr Helland, William A. Williams
Saturday, April 24 at 5pm Pacific | 8pm Eastern
READINGS OF PLAYS:
"AS SOON AS IMPOSSIBLE"
By Betty Shamieh
Directed by Samer Al-Saber
Saturday, May 1 at 5pm Pacific | 8pm Eastern
"A DISTINCT SOCIETY"
By Kareem Fahmy
Directed by Giovanna Sardelli
Saturday, May 8 at 5pm Pacific | 8pm Eastern
"pas de deux" ("lost my shoe")
Written and performed by Lisa Ramirez
Directed by Jeffrey Lo
Video production by Steven Muterspaugh
Saturday, May 15 at 2pm Pacific | 5pm Eastern
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Photo caption: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will present "New Works Festival Online," streaming readings of new plays and musicals, April 23 - May 15, 2021. (Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka)