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Powers New Voices Festival 2020 Announcement

THE OLD GLOBE to Present
the SEVENTH ANNUAL POWERS NEW VOICES FESTIVAL,
a Series of New American Play Readings,
JANUARY 10–12, 2020
in the SHERYL AND HARVEY WHITE THEATRE,
part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

NEW AMERICAN PLAYS on Saturday and Sunday Include
NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY by CHAD BECKIM,
the Globe-Commissioned SHUTTER SISTERS
by JIRÉH BREON HOLDER,
EL BORRACHO by TONY MENESES,
and
the Globe-CommissionedAGE OF INNOCENCE
by KAREN ZACARÍAS

The FREE Weekend Festival Begins Friday with
CELEBRATING COMMUNITY VOICES, Play Readings Created by
San Diegans Through the Arts Engagement Initiatives
COMMUNITY VOICES and COLAB

SAN DIEGO (December 19, 2019)—The Old Globe today announced it will present the seventh annual Powers New Voices Festival, a weekend of readings of new American plays by some of the most exciting voices writing for the American theatre today, playing January 10–12, 2020. Playwrights include Chad Beckim, Jiréh Breon Holder, Tony Meneses, and Karen Zacarías; directors include Shelley Butler, Edward Torres, and James Vásquez.

The Festival kicks off on Friday, January 10 at 7:30 p.m. with Celebrating Community Voices, an evening of short works created by San Diego residents through the Globe’s arts engagement programs Community Voices and coLAB. These readings include Codeswitchin’ Is Conscious by Andréa Agosto, Pussycats by Thelma Virata de Castro, Tune Up by Tim Cole, The Mojave by Jaime Estepa, Transit Stop by Jordan Jacobo, When the Sun Dies by Melanie Taing,and Courtesan Way by Zakiyyah Saleem. All of the readings will be directed by Gerardo Flores Tonella and Katherine Harroff. The Community Voices and coLAB initiatives are play-development workshops that provide professional theatre-making skills to select San Diego communities. This evening is a curated collection of some of the best short scripts developed in these programs.

The readings by professional playwrights commence on Saturday, January 11 at 4:00 p.m. with El Borracho by Tony Meneses (Guadalupe in the Guest Room, The Women of Padilla, twenty50, and The Hombres), directed by Edward Torres (the Globe’s Familiar, Native Gardens, Water by the Spoonful, 2017 PNVF What You Are; award-winning world premiere of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity). Raul is sick. He drinks, because he always drinks, just like “el borracho” on the loteria card. In his final months, Raul is forced to move in with his ex-wife Alma, who now has to care for the man she thought she’d never have to see again, and his son David, who has secrets he’s longing to share. Tony Meneses’s compelling tragicomedy follows one family’s journey to come together so they can finally say goodbye.

It will be followed at 7:30 p.m. by Nothing Gold Can Stay by Chad Beckim (The Main(e) Play, That Men Do, Mercy, and After), directed by Shelley Butler (the world premiere of A Doll’s House, Part 2 at South Coast Repertory, The Magician’s Daughter at Geva Theatre Center, Wrecked at Contemporary American Theater Festival). Clay and Jess have big dreams: college, refuge from the cold Maine winters, and a permanent escape from the paycheck-to-paycheck, rent-a-center-furniture lifestyle of their parents. When Jess finds herself temporarily stuck behind and at odds with her stepfather, she moves in with Clay’s mom and begrudgingly takes a job at the local chicken farm. Meanwhile Clay heads off to college, counting down the days to his return, desperate to avoid the destiny of his geography. Nothing Gold Can Stay is a love story for the opioid era.

The Festival continues on Sunday, January 12 at 4:00 p.m. with the Globe-commissioned Age of Innocence by one of the most-produced playwrights in the U.S, Karen Zacarías (the Globe’s Native Gardens, The Copper Children premiering at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2020, Destiny of Desire premiered at South Coast Repertory and Goodman Theatre and continues to run regionally), directed by James Vásquez (the Globe’s American Mariachi, Tiny Beautiful Things, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, upcoming Hurricane Diane and Hair). In 1870s New York City, handsome lawyer Newland Archer satisfies everyone's expectations when he becomes engaged to the sweet debutante May Welland. But when May's older cousin arrives, her determination to live life on her own terms will make Newland question everything he believes to be true. Based on Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book, Karen Zacarías’s fresh new adaptation uses lush language and dynamic theatricality to examine the ways desire must negotiate the complex rules of society.

The Festival wraps up that evening at 7:30 p.m. with the Globe-commissioned Shutter Sisters by Jiréh Breon Holder (Too Heavy for Your Pocket in the 2018 PNVF, ...what the end will be upcoming at Roundabout Theatre Company, “New Amsterdam”), directed by Shelley Butler (see above). Shutter Sisters tells the story of two women living parallel lives on the hardest days of their lives. A white woman named Michael attends her adopted mother’s funeral, while a black woman named Mykal kicks her adult daughter out of her home. A heartfelt and surprising journey through womanhood, identity, and what it means to belong.

“This year’s installment of the Powers New Voices Festival is very exciting,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “Each of the four plays we will present in readings is fascinating in its own right, and taken together they present a remarkable glimpse of the vitality of today’s American stage. Two of the plays are Globe commissions that we are delighted to hear aloud for the first time. The four works cover a range of styles, genres, and themes, but they have in common a bracing commitment to the idea that the theatre is a powerful place to examine big questions, from the deeply personal to the most public. It’s a thrill to have four major writing talents with us, and to see their work side by side with the best that’s emerging from the local playwrights who participate in the Globe’s community-based writing programs. This combination is what makes our Festival unique, and I’m looking forward to bringing it all to our audience and its adventuresome appetite for the new.”

The Powers New Voices Festival 2020 will take place in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Tickets to all four readings are free but require reservations. Reservations for donors and subscribers will be available Friday, December 20 at 12:00 noon. Reservations for the general public will be available Tuesday, January 7 at 12:00 noon. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Ticket Office at (619) 234-5623.

Many plays previously featured in the Powers New Voices Festival have gone on to future productions in San Diego and across the country, such as Faceless by Selina Fillinger in our 2019–2020 Season. Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap will be seen at Cygnet Theatre Company in January 2020. The Globe’s 2019 Season included the Globe-commissioned JC Lee‘s What You Are, Laurel Ollstein’s They Promised Her the Moon, and PigPen Theatre Co.’s The Tale of Despereaux. The 2017–2018 Season included Anna Ziegler’s Globe-commissioned The Wanderers (formerly Arranged) and Karen Zacarías’s Native Gardens. The 2016–2017 Season included Nick Gandiello’s The Blameless and Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew (also presented as part of a limited Globe for All Tour to several Community Partners). Anna Ziegler’s The Last Match had its world premiere here in 2016, then played Off Broadway at Roundabout Theatre Company. Also in 2016, tokyo fish story by Kimber Lee, a playwright featured in a previous Festival with brownsville song (b-side for tray), and Jiehae Park’s peerless, had San Diego premieres at MOXIE Theatre.

In 2016, Paula and Brian Powers provided a sustaining gift to The Old Globe, and in recognition, the Powers New Voices Festival bears their name through 2021. Paula Powers currently is on the Board of Directors of The Old Globe and serves as the organization’s Secretary.

The Old Globe’s New Voices Play Development Program is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Old Globe’s Community Voices and coLAB programs are supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Financial support is provided by The City of San Diego.

LOCATION and PARKING INFORMATION: The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Guests may be dropped off in front of the Mingei International Museum. The Balboa Park valet is available during some weekend performances, located in front of the Japanese Friendship Garden. For additional parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org. There is a 10-minute zone at The Old Globe, used only for daytime deliveries, ticket purchases, and handicapped access dropoff. Please note: GPS may guide you to this delivery address, which is different from the main entrance to our campus. For directions and up-to-date information, please visit www.TheOldGlobe.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Directions--Parking/Detailed-Directions.

CALENDAR: Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (11/3–12/29), Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show (11/23–12/29), Powers New Voices Festival (1/10–1/12/2020), Barry Edelstein In Conversation with Ruben Santiago-Hudson, supported by the Fuson Family (1/15), August Wilson’s Jitney (1/18-2/23), Hurricane Diane (2/8–3/8), Leap Day AXIS event (2/29), Little Women (3/14–4/19), Faceless (3/28–4/26), The Gardens of Anuncia (5/8–6/14), What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank (5/28–6/28), The Taming of the Shrew (6/14–7/19), Hair (7/2–8/9), Dial M for Murder (7/25–8/23), Henry V (8/11–9/13).

PHOTO EDITORS: Digital images of The Old Globe’s productions are available at www.TheOldGlobe.org/Press-Room.

The Tony Award–winning The Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional not-for-profit regional theatres. Now in its 85th year, the Globe is San Diego’s flagship performing arts institution, and it serves a vibrant community with theatre as a public good. Under the leadership of Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Managing Director Timothy J. Shields, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 16 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages, including its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in the theatre’s artistic and arts engagement programs. Its nationally prominent Arts Engagement Department provides an array of participatory programs that make theatre matter to more people in neighborhoods throughout the region. Humanities programs at the Globe and around the city broaden the community’s understanding of theatre art in all its forms. The Globe also boasts a range of new play development programs with professional and community-based writers, as well as the renowned The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. Numerous world premieres—such as 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!—have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.

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PHOTO EDITORS: Publicity photos for the 2020 Powers New Voices Festival are available here:
https://www.theoldglobe.org/press-room/2019-2020-season/powers-new-voices-fesival-2020/

2020 POWERS NEW VOICES FESTIVAL

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY VOICES:
Friday, January 10, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

Codeswitchin’ Is Conscious
By Andréa Agosto

Andréa Agosto (Playwright, Codeswitchin’ Is Conscious) is an actress, illustrator, spoken-word poet, and award-winning filmmaker. A Kansas City transplant, by way of Albuquerque, she has had the pleasure of performing onstage around San Diego for the past five years that she has been here. Ms. Agosto is very thankful for the opportunity to be able to hear her work come to life with the Community Voices workshop. andreaagosto.com.

Pussycats
By Thelma Virata de Castro

Thelma Virata de Castro
(Playwright, Pussycats) is a Dramatists Guild Ambassador, Hedgebrook alumna, and founder of San Diego Playwrights. She received a Creative Catalyst Fellowship from The San Diego Foundation with Asian Story Theater (AST), and California Humanities grants with AST and Access Inc. Her next AST project with AARP is Hand Under Hand, a play with music by Emily Rutherford, with staged readings January 30 at 7:00 p.m. and February 1 at 2:00 p.m. at the San Diego Central Library.

Tune Up
By Tim Cole

Tim Cole
(Playwright, Tune Up) is a native San Diegan, has a B.A. degree in Theatre from San Diego State University, and is known as “the voice of The Old Globe.” Mr. Cole is a model maker, cartoonist, and writer, and he has performed at local storytelling venues. Pennsylvania Sky was his first playwriting effort as part of the Globe’s Community Voices. He hopes to write a book about his role in preserving the old Mission Beach roller coaster.

The Mojave
By Jaime Estepa

Jaime Estepa
(Playwright, The Mojave) is a higher-education professional and spoken-word poet. He has been a featured performer in venues from Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles, to CSU Fullerton in Orange County, and in San Diego spaces like Encinitas City Hall, Verbatim Books, Skyline Hills Library, and La Jolla Playhouse. As a UC San Diego undergraduate, he co-wrote the full-length play Kaluluwa for the university’s annual Pilipinx Cultural Celebration. He has written two plays through the Community Voices program.

Transit Stop
By Jordan Jacobo

Jordan Jacobo (Playwright, Transit Stop) is a writer and performer who has developed and appeared in various short films and series. A man of conflicting interests, he is currently the host of the KPBS digital series “Jordan Loves,” in which he highlights the seldom-explored corners of his native San Diego, as well as the YouTube series “Jordan Hates,” in which he subjects viewers to a series of often-humorous, occasionally unpleasant rants. He also co-hosts “You’re Gonna Die Alone,” a podcast series chronicling the most disastrous relationships in history.

Courtesan Way
By Zakiyyah Saleem

Zakiyyah Saleem
(Playwright, Courtesan Way) was born and raised in San Diego. No stranger to theatre, she has been around the stage since the age of two in different capacities. Most recently, she performed as Ophelia in Hamlet. She began her journey into playwriting with The Old Globe’s Community Voices program in Linda Vista. She wrote and performed the main character for her play, and acted for another writer. She is grateful for and inspired by this experience.

When the Sun Dies
By Melanie Taing

Melanie Taing (Playwright, When the Sun Dies) is a 2017 UCLA alumna with a B.A. in English, and she is pursuing her M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Fiction) at San Diego State University. She wrote her first play, Lost in Translation, for a Cambodian cultural production at UCLA in 2017, and her second play, Apsongha, while participating in the Community Voices program. Her favorite stories to tell are those of the Cambodian diaspora post-genocide, and she believes storytelling is fundamental in healing this demographic.

Gerardo Flores Tonella (Director, Celebrating Community Voices) is an actor and director in the San Diego–Tijuana area, and a current Globe Teaching Artist. His directing credits include Beauty and the Beast (Camafeo/Centro Cultural Tijuana), Untamed! Opera Festival (La MaMa), and The Addams Family (Encore Theatre San Diego). He has worked as an assistant director for The Tragedy of Carmen at San Diego Opera and for numerous shows at The Old Globe, including Fiasco Theater’s The Imaginary Invalid, Camp David,and Picasso at the Lapin Agile, among others. He also currently works in the Entertainment Department at Legoland California Resort. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies from University of San Diego.

Katherine Harroff (Director, Celebrating Community Voices) is an Arts Engagement Programs Manager with The Old Globe and a local playwright and director. She developed the Community Voices playwriting program in 2012, and in 2016 she spearheaded the first coLAB workshop performance project. She is the Founding Director for the production company Circle Circle dot dot and is a 2019 commissioned playwright with The Old Globe.


NEW AMERICAN PLAYS:
Saturday, January 11 and Sunday, January 12, 2020

Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.
El Borracho

By Tony Meneses
Directed by Edward Torres

Raul is sick. He drinks, because he always drinks, just like “el borracho” on the loteria card. In his final months, Raul is forced to move in with his ex-wife Alma, who now has to care for the man she thought she’d never have to see again, and his son David, who has secrets he’s longing to share. Tony Meneses’s compelling tragicomedy follows one family’s journey to come together so they can finally say goodbye.

Tony Meneses (Playwright, El Borracho) was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and raised in Albuquerque and Dallas. His plays include Guadalupe in the Guest Room, The Women of Padilla, twenty50, and The Hombres. He is an alumnus of the Soho Rep. Writer/Director Lab, Ars Nova Play Group, Sundance Institute Playwrights Retreat at Ucross Foundation, The Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship, and Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and his work has been previously developed at the Lark Play Development Center Playwrights’ Week, Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s The Ground Floor, WildWind Performance Lab, and Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company’s Colorado New Play Summit. Mr. Meneses is a two-time recipient of The Kennedy Center Latinx Playwriting Award, is published by Dramatists Play Service, and has been previously commissioned by Denver Center, Two River Theater, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, and The Juilliard School. He studied at The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and The Juilliard School.

Edward Torres (Director, El Borracho) has directed the Globe’s Familiar, Native Gardens, Water by the Spoonful, and the 2017 Powers New Voices Festival reading of What You Are. He directed the world premiere of Kristoffer Diaz’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Victory Gardens Theater/Teatro Vista), which was named Best Play of 2009 by the Chicago Tribune and garnered Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best Production – Play and Best Director – Play. He has also directed at several regional theatres Including Geffen Playhouse, Second Stage Theatre, Goodman Theatre, The Public Theater, Repertorio Español, and more. His other awards included Latin ACE Award for Best Musical and the Artistas de Teatro Independiente Award for Best Director. He serves as an Assistant Professor of Practice in Theater at Wesleyan University, and is Artistic Director Emeritus at Teatro Vista. As a performer, he was recently seen in the critically acclaimed production of Bruce Norris’s Downstate, at both Steppenwolf Theatre Company and the National Theatre in London.

Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Nothing Gold Can Stay

By Chad Beckim
Directed by Shelley Butler

Clay and Jess have big dreams: college, refuge from the cold Maine winters, and a permanent escape from the paycheck-to-paycheck, rent-a-center-furniture lifestyle of their parents. When Jess finds herself temporarily stuck behind and at odds with her stepfather, she moves in with Clay’s mom and begrudgingly takes a job at the local chicken farm. Meanwhile Clay heads off to college, counting down the days to his return, desperate to avoid the destiny of his geography. Nothing Gold Can Stay is a love story for the opioid era.

Chad Beckim (Playwright, Nothing Gold Can Stay) is a New York City–based playwright whose work has been produced, developed, and commissioned by Partial Comfort Productions, LAByrinth Theater Company, Lark Play Development Center, Ars Nova, Naked Angels, The Old Vic in London, Azuka Theatre, The New Victory Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Working Theater, and The Playwrights Realm. He holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Mac Wellman’s Brooklyn College program, and he is a Founding Co-Artistic Director of Partial Comfort Productions.

Shelley Butler (Director, Nothing Gold Can Stay) recently directed the world premiere of Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 (South Coast Repertory), Lila Rose Kaplan’s The Magician’s Daughter (Geva Theatre Center), and Greg Kalleres’s Wrecked (Contemporary American Theater Festival). Ms. Butler also recently helmed the Japanese premiere of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo. She has developed over two dozen new plays and musicals at companies including Ars Nova, Primary Stages, Ensemble Studio Theatre, WP Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, South Coast Repertory, Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Geva Theatre Center, New York Stage and Film, PlayPenn, Ma-Yi Theater Company, New Georges, The Playwrights Realm, Keen Company, New Dramatists, and Lark Play Development Center. She spent two seasons as Artistic Associate in charge of new-play development for Hartford Stage and three seasons as Artistic Associate for Great Lakes Theater. Her upcoming credits include Arcadia for South Coast Repertory.

Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.  
Globe-commissioned
Age of Innocence
By Karen Zacarías
Directed by James Vásquez

In 1870s New York City, handsome lawyer Newland Archer satisfies everyone's expectations when he becomes engaged to the sweet debutante May Welland. But when May's older cousin arrives, her determination to live life on her own terms will make Newland question everything he believes to be true. Based on Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book, Karen Zacarías’s fresh new adaptation uses lush language and dynamic theatricality to examine the ways desire must negotiate the complex rules of society.

Karen Zacarías (Playwright, Age of Innocence) happily returns to The Old Globe following Eddie Torres’s lovely production of Native Gardens. She was hailed by American Theater magazine as one of the most produced playwrights in the U.S. The Copper Children premieres at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2020, and Destiny of Desire, directed by José Luis Valenzuela, continues to run at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and Guthrie Theater. Her other plays include The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, Just Like Us, and Into the Beautiful North. A core founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons, Ms. Zacarías was voted 2018 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine; became a Sine Institute Fellow for Policy Innovation at American University; and was selected by the League of Professional Theatre Women to receive the 2019 Lee Reynolds Award for “social, cultural, or political change with theatre.” She was awarded the 2019 Medallion Award by the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America and was a 2019 speaker at TEDxBroadway. KarenZacarias.com.

James Vásquez (Director, Age of Innocence) previously with the Globe directed the West Coast premiere of Tiny Beautiful Things, the world premiere of American Mariachi, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Rich Girl, and Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show. He will also direct the West Coast premiere of Hurricane Diane in February and Hair this coming summer. He received the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical in 2018 for In the Heights (Moonlight Stage Productions) and in 2010 for Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre Company). His other recent directing/choreography credits include In the Heights (Dallas Theater Center), American Mariachi (Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company), and Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax (as associate director; Children’s Theatre Company), as well as developmental workshops at La Jolla Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals. Mr. Vásquez is an amateur gardener, lover of dogs, and graduate of The Juilliard School.

Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Globe-commissioned
Shutter Sisters
By Jiréh Breon Holder
Directed by Shelley Butler

Shutter Sisters tells the story of two women living parallel lives on the hardest days of their lives. A white woman named Michael attends her adopted mother’s funeral, while a black woman named Mykal kicks her adult daughter out of her home. A heartfelt and surprising journey through womanhood, identity, and what it means to belong.

Jiréh Breon Holder (Playwright, Shutter Sisters) is a Memphis, Tennessee native and proud Morehouse Man. Trained at Yale School of Drama, his plays merge the political with the poetic. For his professional debut, he returned to his Southern roots to tell a story blending Holder family lore with the little-known history of Nashville’s Freedom Riders. Too Heavy for Your Pocket won the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition and subsequently had an extended Off Broadway run at Roundabout Theatre Company. This was followed by regional productions in cities from Los Angeles to Chicago, Des Moines to Houston, and more. Mr. Holder currently writes for NBC’s hit medical drama “New Amsterdam.” In June 2020, ...what the end will be is to be presented at Roundabout Theatre Company.

Shelley Butler (Director, Shutter Sisters) See Nothing Gold Can Stay bio above.