Bay Area Playwrights Festival remains online for 2021
Analyzing the Bay Area Playlight Foundation alumni roster helps determine who is who in the modern theater icon. Founded in 1976, the organization has served as an incubator for Sam Shepard, David Henry Hwang, Anna Diverse Smith, Marcus Gardley, Jonathan Spector, Jackie Sibreez Drury and others.
But BAPF has never been obsessed with polishing trophies for past achievements. On the contrary, the Foundation has always been on the lookout for the future of art forms – aiming to develop new talent and focus on innovative ideas.
Such an idea has recently been accidentally established. When the pandemic shut down all live streaming venues last year, the BAPF didn’t hesitate to bring the Bay Area Playwright Festival, the annual showcase for writers, online. In the process, they discovered something amazing and encouraging.
“”[The Foundation has] By putting our reading online, we saw these new plays and found out that they were available nationwide to those who wanted to work with playwrights. Going online last year, attendance by theater professionals increased by almost 400%. This year, an additional 50% increase over last year. When we met in person, we were online. I hope I can maintain that feeling, because it helps the playwright serve more deeply so that more people across the country can see their work. “
This year’s reading lineup includes a collection of five plays by BIPoC playwrights of various gender identities. For these pieces, it is as important to look forward as it is to look back. The parameters of each script execute the color gamut of the future after completion (Museum of human Miyoko Conley) and the Japanese-American containment camp (Presumed house 2003 Pop Music Reality Show (by Sam Hamashima)Tiger beat Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin and Modern Family Magic Shop (by Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin)The magic problem is By Johnny G. Lloyd). A common feature of the scripts is that all the characters think about the future while they struggle to understand the past.
Despite this similarity, Beza maintains that it was not intentional when choosing a lineup. “”[W]We are looking for innovative stories about who is written and how, and what resonates with what is happening in the world today, ”she says. “At the beginning, we don’t try to make thematic choices, but the pieces talk to each other often and the themes become clearer. Each of the pieces of the 2021 festival is traumatic and healing between the generations. Also speaks in a unique way. “
“The ‘fantastic elements’ are pretty normal for me,” says WWII playwright Sam Hamashima (they / they). Presumed house, Incorporates prototypes and metaphors of modern anime. “It’s my way of writing. Sometimes it’s hard to play in time or mix anime and theater together, but there’s no other way. “
Tiger beat Author Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin (they / she) agrees. “I like theater that goes beyond the norm,” they say. “Writing that pushes the boundaries of traditional Western storytelling is as exciting to me as the simultaneous development and dissection of metaphors. At one point in Garvin’s play following a group of multiracial young girls. The story turns sharply to the left in the “meta” realm and focuses on the playwright trying to complete the script.
“I hope the audience recognizes his life in the mechanics of the play’s meta-theater. Identity and value browsing is not just the writing process, but many daily tactics of our lives. He’s definitely rooted in.[.]”
The playwrights also seem to agree that the diversity of this year’s roster is a testament to how the Foundation seeks new talent.
“One of the things that excites me the most about this group of writers is that they are a group of artists who are diverse not only in substance, but also in style. and perspective. ” The magic problem is Author Johnny Lloyd. “The festival’s programming is similar to the season’s programming. It’s an honor to be able to talk to artists who push their limits in their own way.
Beza adds, “I think having a diverse roster is the minimum an arts organization can do, and that should be a standard, not an exception. Real hard work is the culture and the systems that support safety, and every playwright. Is to build the various needs of
Lloyd’s play on a threatened black and family magic store has spent the past decade on the San Francisco Foundation location prizing residents and diverse and eclectic artists. There is no other choice but to make similarities with the method. Growing up in Mountain View, Garvin said, “Continued gentrification of the Bay Area. [is] Dissuasive from doing a new job. “
“This is my house,” she continues. “I love the area’s coastline, the hills, the redwoods, the palm trees and the strong community of artists raised here. I especially love the construction of commercial buildings, the destruction of our unique ecology, and because so many people in all professions are tied to the way they are billed in our area, we are resisting the changes we are seeing in my area. original. “
All writers thank the Foundation for the opportunities it presents, and Beza is optimistic about introducing the literally figurative “value” of moving forward with writers. As she explains, “We went through a strategic planning process to articulate our best value as a playwright at the root. It is the job of choice. Not only does it focus on how the work is sustained, but every day we ask ourselves to include the voice of the playwright in the process. “
2021 Bay Area Dramaturg Festival
July 16-25 | Various execution times
Online | $ 5 – $ 175 | PlaywrightsFoundation.org
Charles Lewis III is a San Francisco-born journalist, theater artist, and art critic. thethinkingmansidiot.wordpress.com
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