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Powers New Voices Festival 2021

THE OLD GLOBE to Present
a Series of New Play Readings,
January 21–24, 2021,
Presented Virtually for the First Time
Online on the Hopin Platform

New Plays on Friday and Sunday Include
FUENTE OVEJUNA Translated and Adapted by
William S. Gregory and Daniel Jáquez
and the Globe-Commissioned UNDER A BASEBALL SKY
by José Cruz González, Directed by James Vásquez

The Free Online Festival Begins Thursday with
Play Readings Created by San Diegans Through the Globe’s
Arts Engagement Initiatives Community Voices and coLAB

Is Presented on Saturday,
Produced by Karen Ann Daniels and Lamar Perry and
Directed by Daniels, Perry, and Delicia Turner Sonnenberg

SAN DIEGO (January 7, 2021)—The Old Globe announced today it will present the eighth annual Powers New Voices Festival, four days of readings of new plays by some of the most exciting voices writing for the American theatre today. This year’s event will be presented virtually for the first time, streaming online January 21–24, 2021 on the free virtual Hopin platform. The Festival is free to the public, but reservations are required. Reservations can be made online at TheOldGlobe.org starting Wednesday, January 13 at 12:00 noon.

The Festival begins on Thursday, January 21 at 7:00 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. The evening will include works by Queen Kandi Cole, KishaLynn (“KL”) Moore Elliott, Jonathan Hammond, and Thelma Virata de Castro. The readings will be directed by Freedome Bradley-Ballentine, Katherine Harroff, Gerardo Flores Tonella, and Lamar Perry. The Globe’s 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.

On Friday, January 22 at 7:00 p.m., the Festival continues with Fuente Ovejuna by Lope de Vega translated and adapted by William S. Gregory and Daniel Jáquez. A classic of Spanish Golden Age literature, Fuente Ovejuna is a timeless story of honor and love brought to new life in this fresh translation. Oppressed by a tyrannical leader, a group of townspeople band together to claim justice, dignity, and freedom for their town by any means necessary. Based on the true story of an uprising in a southern Spanish town in 1477, Fuente Ovejuna bristles with action, humor, tragedy, and humanity and has a long and rich production history over the centuries. This reading is organized jointly between The Old Globe, TuYo Theatre, and the Consulate of Mexico. The Cultural Department of the Consulate General of Mexico has as one of its objectives the promotion of cultural and artistic exchanges between Mexico and the United States as a tool for dialogue, understanding, and cooperation. Fuente Ovejuna encourages reflection and discussion of relevant issues for the binational border community.

The Festival continues on Saturday, January 23 at 7:00 p.m. with An Evening with the San Diego Black Artists Collective, produced by Karen Ann Daniels and Lamar Perry and directed by Tanika Baptiste, Karen Ann Daniels, Lamar Perry, and Delicia Turner Sonnenberg. The evening will feature works by Tanika Baptiste, Dea Hurston, Joy Yvonne Jones, Tamara McMillian, Milena (Sellers) Phillips, and Ruff Yeager, as well as a stunning adaptation of Rich Soublet II’s Black Presence photo docuseries. The Globe’s commitment to social justice calls on us to amplify the voices of San Diego's BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists by making space on all of our platforms for this exciting and worthy work. This evening, conceived, produced, and featuring members of the SDBAC, is our first foray into these important and necessary collaborations.

The Festival wraps up on Sunday, January 24 at 7:00 p.m. with the Globe-commissioned Under a Baseball Sky by José Cruz González and directed by James Vásquez. From the writer of the Globe’s smash hit American Mariachi comes a story about baseball’s deep roots in the Mexican American community. When troublemaker Teo is assigned to clean up a vacant lot belonging to the elderly Elí O’Reilly, these two unlikely friends form a bond forged in history and America’s pastime. Inspired by the playwright’s research into the history of San Diego’s Logan Heights neighborhood, Under a Baseball Sky celebrates communities and individuals coming together to find hope, healing, and love.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, the Globe’s commitment to the safety of our artists and audiences remains paramount, and so, for the first time, we are pivoting our annual festival of new writing to this exciting virtual format,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “Though we cannot gather in person, we can and will continue to share with our audiences the best new work for the stage. This year we focus with even more intensity than in past years on plays by BIPOC artists, and we are excited to investigate a classic of world literature alongside world-premiere, Globe-commissioned work. We’re also thrilled to shine a bright light on San Diego writers, both those in our own playwriting programs, and the members of the San Diego Black Artists Collective. These valued partnerships will yield rich and important work both in this Festival and beyond. I’m looking forward to a great and varied weekend of excellent theatre.”

Artist bios can be found at www.TheOldGlobe.org/Press-Room.

Before each reading event, starting at 6:30 p.m., the Hopin virtual lobby will be open for audience members to mingle with each other and get ready for the reading to begin.

Also, three free panel discussions will be held and are scheduled Friday to Sunday, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. These discussions are included for free with your reading reservation.

  • Friday, January 22: Cocktails with the Canon. A live kickoff for The Old Globe’s new podcast Cocktails with the Canon hosted by the Globe’s Literary Manager/Dramaturg Danielle Mages Amato and Artistic Associate Lamar Perry. In anticipation of the evening’s reading of Lope de Vega’s Fuente Ovejuna, the panel will invite the Festival’s Latinx artists to discuss their relationship to classic Spanish-language plays.
  • Saturday, January 23: Arts and Activism. Where do theatrical reformation and restorative justice meet? Old Globe Associate Artistic Director and Director of Arts Engagement Freedome Bradley-Ballentine and Artistic Associate Lamar Perry welcome members of the San Diego Black Artist Collective to discuss the artistic and social goals of this burgeoning local organization.
  • Sunday, January 24: Playwrights in Action. Associate Director of Arts Engagement Katherine Harroff and Literary Manager/Dramaturg Danielle Mages Amato will be joined by Festival playwrights to discuss their process, their Festival plays, and the current state of new-play development in a pandemic world.

The Powers New Voices Festival 2021 will take place online on the Hopin virtual event platform. Tickets to all four evenings are free but require reservations. Reservations for the general public will be available Wednesday, January 13 at 12:00 noon. Tickets can be reserved online through The Old Globe website, www.TheOldGlobe.org. Only one ticket per event is needed per household. Attendees will need to register for free for Hopin prior to the event; instructions will be included with ticket confirmation.

Many plays previously featured in the Powers New Voices Festival have gone on to productions in San Diego and across the country. The Globe’s 2019 Season included JC Lee’s Globe-commissioned What You Are, Laurel Ollstein’s They Promised Her the Moon, and PigPen Theatre Co.’s The Tale of Despereaux. The 2017–2018 Season featured 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. And most recently, Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap was seen at Cygnet Theatre Company in 2020.

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 and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The Old Globe’s Community Voices program is supported by grants from The James Irvine Foundation and Subaru of El Cajon. The James Irvine Foundation also supports the Globe’s coLAB program. Fuente Ovejuna is supported by The Joseph Cohen and Martha Farish New Play Development Fund. The Old Globe’s digital programs are supported in part by the Peggy and Robert Matthews Foundation. Financial support is provided by The City of San Diego. The Theodor and Audrey Geisel Fund provides leadership support for The Old Globe’s year-round activities.

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