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Press Release: New Voices Festival 2016

JANUARY 15 – 17, 2016

The FREE weekend will include the plays


SAN DIEGO (December 21, 2015)—The Old Globe today announced it will present the Third Annual New Voices Festival, a weekend of readings of new American plays by professional playwrights, January 15 – 17, 2016. The Festival will kick off Friday, January 15 at 7:30 p.m. with Sheri Wilner, Julia Jordan, and Adam Gwon’s musical Cake Off, directed by Anne Torsiglieri. The Festival weekend will continue on Saturday, January 16 at 4:00 p.m. with peerlessby Jiehae Park, directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, and at 7:30 p.m. with The Blameless by Nick Gandiello, directed by Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. The festival concludes on Sunday, January 17 at 4:00 p.m., with Mona Mansour’s Unseen, directed by Johanna McKeon. The New Voices Festival 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, currently available to donors and subscribers through December 30. Reservations for the general public will be available beginning Tuesday January 5 at 12 noon. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Box Office at (619) 23-GLOBE.

“Now in its third installment, our New Voices Festival has become a highlight of the Globe’s year and the centerpiece of our growing new play development program,” said Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “It has also become an important source of work for our annual season and for other stages in town. Anna Ziegler’s The Last Match, which we read in the Festival last year, is about to make its world premiere in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre. And playwright Kimber Lee’s tokyo fish story is in our coming season because we got to know her through another play from last year’s Festival, brownsville song (b-side for tray), which is about to make its San Diego premiere at the wonderful MOXIE Theatre. I expect that this year’s slate of plays will also make their way to full productions here and elsewhere in the time ahead. The Globe is committed to bringing the best new playwriting to San Diego, and we are thrilled to give our audiences opportunities to see the artistic process in action. The talent joining us this year is at the highest level of achievement on the American stage, and their work will once again make the Globe a cutting-edge venue for new drama. I look forward to sharing this funny, challenging, and inspiring work with our audience.”

The complete New Voices Festival lineup is as follows:

Friday, January 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Cake Off
Based on the play Bake Off by Sheri Wilner
Book by Sheri Wilner and Julia Jordan
Lyrics by Adam Gwon and Julia Jordan
Music by Adam Gwon
Directed by Anne Torsiglieri
It’s the 50th Annual Millberry Cake Off, and in honor of the occasion, Millberry has increased the grand prize from fifty thousand to one million dollars, inspiring a record number of men to enter the competition. With the Food TV cameras recording their every move, contestants Rita and Paul will go pound for pound cake in this baking battle of the sexes, which boils over into a hilarious, all-out culinary combat between two people with much more at stake than the coveted trophy and cash prize.

Sheri Wilner’s (Book, Original Playwright) plays include Father Joy, Hunger, Bake Off, Labor Day, Relative Strangers, Moving Shortly, Little Death of a Salesman, The Unknown Part of the Ocean, Hell and Back, The Bushesteia, Equilibrium, The First Night of Chanukah, The End,and Joan of Arkansas. Her work has been performed at major regional theatres including Guthrie Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Summer Play Festival, Naked Angels, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Women’s Project, New Georges, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, Primary Stages, City Theatre, Illusion Theater, Emigrant Theater, and History Theatre. In addition, Father Joy was developed by the Old Vic New Voices program in London. Ms. Wilner’s playwriting awards include a Howard Foundation Fellowship, Bush Artist Fellowship, two Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellowships, and two Heideman Awards, granted by the Actors Theatre of Louisville, for Labor Day (1999 Humana Festival) and Bake Off (2002 Humana Festival). Her work has been published in over a dozen anthologies including New Playwrights: The Best New Plays of 1999, The Women’s Project and Productions: The Best One-Act Plays, and The Best American Short Plays 2000-2001, among others. In addition, Playscripts has published 12 of her one-acts, which have received over 100 productions nationally and internationally. She is currently a visiting professor in playwriting at Florida State University’s M.F.A. dramatic writing program. She has also taught playwriting at the Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts in and has conducted playwriting classes and workshops at University of California, Santa Barbara; Cornell University; University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program; and Whitman College. She attended Cornell University and received her M.F.A. in Playwriting from Columbia University.

Julia Jordan (Book, Lyrics) has written the musicals Murder Ballad, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, Sarah Plain and Tall, The Mice from 3hree, and the upcoming Storyville and The Ladykillers Ballad. Her plays include Boy, Tatjana in Color, Dark Yellow, St. Scarlet, and Henry Darger Lives Downstairs. Her credits for children include Walk Two Moons, Summer of the Swans, and Guitar, written with Duncan Sheik. Ms. Jordan has received the Kleban Prize, Jonathan Larson Award, Primus Prize, Lucille Lortel Foundation fellowship, Manhattan Theatre Club fellowship, Heideman Award, Lecomte du Noüy Foundation Award, AT&T:OnStage Award, American Spirit Award, and three Susan Smith Blackburn Prize shortlist and honorable mentions. Ms. Jordan is a founder and vice president of The Lilly Awards Foundation, which celebrates and advocates for women in theatre, and she is the treasurer of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Adam Gwon (Lyrics, Music) is a rising musical theatre writer, named one of “50 to Watch” by Dramatist Magazine and hailed as “a promising newcomer to our talent-hungry musical theatre” by The New York Times. His musicals include Ordinary Days, The Boy Detective Fails (with Joe Meno), Cloudlands (with Octavio Solis), Bernice Bobs Her Hair (with Julia Jordan), and String (with Sarah Hammond), which have been produced at Roundabout Theatre Company, Signature Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, and many other theatres around the globe, including London’s West End. Mr. Gwon has also contributed songs to the hit show Old Jews Telling Jokes and the web series “Submissions Only.” He is the proud recipient of the Kleban Prize, Fred Ebb Award, Richard Rodgers Award, Frederick Loewe Award, Second Stage Theatre Donna Perret Rosen Award, Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Lyric Award, and MAC John Wallowitch Award, as well as commissions from Roundabout Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, and Broadway Across America. His songs have been heard at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova, and more, and they have been performed by such luminaries as Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, Liz Callaway, and Brian d’Arcy James. Recordings of Mr. Gwon’s work include the cast album of Ordinary Days (Ghostlight Records), Audra McDonald’s Go Back Home (Nonesuch), Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project (Entertainment One), and more. He has been a fellow at The MacDowell Colony, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Music Theater Conference, and the Dramatists Guild. He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild.

Anne Torsiglieri (Director) has been seen on Broadway in Top Girls, Parade, Blood Brothers, and Miss Saigon as well as in the national tour of Les Misérables. Off Broadway and regionally she has performed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Women’s Project, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York Stage and Film, Working Theater, York Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre Center, Center Stage, Huntington Theatre Company, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, Great Lakes Theater, Cleveland Play House, and Arizona Theatre Company. She has worked with directors Hal Prince, Mark Brokaw, Michael Mayer, Diane Paulus, James MacDonald, Marion McClinton, Irene Lewis, Connie Grappo, Mark Linn-Baker, Peter Hackett, Michael Langham, Eileen Myers, Susan Fenichell, David Wheeler, and Victoria Bussert. Ms. Torsiglieri was given DramaLogue and Garland Awards for her portrayal of Catherine Sloper in The Heiress (Berkeley Repertory Theatre). She created the role of Clara in the world premiere of Marty opposite John C. Reilly, directed by Mark Brokaw (Huntington Theatre Company). Her recent television and film credits include “Law & Order,” “Kidnapped,” Vanessa, “Gossip Girl,” and the award-winning Albert Schweitzer: Called to Africa (Gabriel and Telly Awards). Ms. Torsiglieri is a graduate of Princeton University and The Juilliard School Drama Division, and she has studied at the Vilnius Conservatory in Lithuania. She has taught acting at Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, The Actors’ Center, The New School, and the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Purchase College. She is a Fox Fellow, a member of The 52nd Street Project, and a member of The WorkShop Theater Company. She is currently Associate Professor of Theater at University of California, Santa Barbara.


Saturday, January 16 at 4:00 p.m.
By Jiehae Park
Directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg
Twin sisters L and M have worked together tirelessly to make sure they get into the best college: perfect grades, impeccable extracurriculars, and killer essays. But when their classmate wins the coveted early admission spot, the girls take matters into their own hands. peerless, Jiehae Park’s bitingly funny modern-day riff on Macbeth, takes us into the halls of an ordinary Midwestern high school, exploring a contemporary pressure cooker of ambition, expectation, passion, and even the unthinkable.

Jiehae Park’s (Playwright) peerless recently received its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre and was part of Cherry Lane Theatre’s 2015 Mentor Project. She is also one of the writers of Wondrous Strange (2016 Actors Theatre of Louisville/Humana Festival). Her work has been developed through the Soho Repertory Theater Writer/Director Lab, Playwrights Horizons, Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s The Ground Floor, The Playwrights Realm, The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, New York Theatre Workshop, Dramatists Guild of America’s Fellows Program, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Her plays have won the Leah Ryan FEWW Playwriting Prize and the Princess Grace Award (for Hannah and the Dread Gazebo) and were included in two years of the Kilroys list. Ms. Park has received commissions from Playwrights Horizons and McCarter Theatre Center, and she has had residencies with MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and McCarter’s Sallie B. Goodman Artists’ Retreat. As a performer she has appeared at La Jolla Playhouse, The Studio Theatre, Tiny Little Band, REDCAT, and, with the upcoming Sleep, Ripe Time/The Play Company. Ms. Park received her B.A. from Amherst College and her M.F.A. from UC San Diego.

Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (Director) is the founding Artistic Director of MOXIE Theatre, where she has directed many acclaimed productions. She has also directed for San Diego Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Cygnet Theatre Company, Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, New Village Arts, Diversionary Theatre, ion theatre company, and Playwrights Project. Her honors include Theatre Communications Group’s New Generations Program fellowship, San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Awards, a Women’s International Center Living Legacy Award, Van Lier Fund fellowship (Second Stage Theatre), and the New York Drama League’s Directors Project.


Saturday, January 16 at 7:30 p.m.
The Blameless
By Nick Gandiello
Directed by Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein
The Garcia family is learning to adjust to a new normal after losing their son to a senseless act of violence. Now a man with his own terrible connection to that day wants to visit, and the Garcias must find a way to hold everything together as they struggle to find love and grace in the face of loss. A compassionate and moving look at how we move on after tragedy strikes.

Nick Gandiello (Playwright) is a playwright, screenwriter, and teaching artist based in New York. His plays include Oceanside (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), The Wedge Horse (Fault Line Theatre), The Blameless and Sunrise Highway (Ojai Playwrights Conference), Black Fly Spring (Xavier University), Swept (Williamstown Theatre Festival), At the Finish (Smith and Kraus’s The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2014), and Teeming Shore (The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2015). Mr. Gandiello is the 2015 Page 73 Productions Playwriting Fellow. He attended Page 73’s summer residency at Yale University and was a member of the 2014 Interstate 73 writers group. He is an alumnus of the Ars Nova Play Group. He also holds an M.F.A. from The New School, where his play Off the Realness received a workshop production. His work has been developed or presented by Wide Eyed Productions, Samuel French’s Off Off Broadway Festival, Capital Stage, and Crashbox Theater Company, among others. Mr. Gandiello has attended residencies at Blue Mountain Center and SPACE on Ryder Farm. For the screen, he developed and shot a television pilot, “Substance,” with Ready Set Go! Productions. As a teaching artist, he led the Naked Angels 3T Summer Style and their playwriting workshops in the GULD Conference. Mr. Gandiello was the Literary Manager of Young Playwrights Inc. from 2012 to 2015, for which he led playwriting workshops in Virginia, Miami, and New York City.

Barry Edelstein (Director) is a stage director, producer, author, and educator. Widely recognized as one of the leading American authorities on the works of Shakespeare, he has directed nearly half of the Bard’s plays. His Globe directing credits include The Winter’s Tale; Othello; the West Coast premiere of novelist Nathan Englander’s play The Twenty-seventh Man; and the upcoming world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson’s musical Rain. He also directed All’s Well That Ends Well as the inaugural production of Globe for All, a new producing platform that tours the works of Shakespeare to diverse communities throughout San Diego County. As Director of the Shakespeare Initiative at The Public Theater (2008-2012), Mr. Edelstein oversaw all of the company’s Shakespearean productions, as well as its extensive educational, community outreach, and artist-training programs. At The Public, he staged the world premiere of The Twenty-seventh Man, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, Timon of Athens, and Steve Martin’s WASP and Other Plays. He was also Associate Producer of The Public’s Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino. From 1998-2003 he was Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company. Mr. Edelstein’s other Shakespearean directorial credits include The Winter’s Tale at Classic Stage Company; As You Like It starring Gwyneth Paltrow; and Richard III starring John Turturro. Additional credits include the Lucille Lortel Award-winning revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons; the world premiere of Steve Martin’s The Underpants, which he commissioned; and Molière’s The Misanthrope starring Uma Thurman in her stage debut. Mr. Edelstein has taught Shakespearean acting at The Juilliard School, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program, and the University of Southern California. His book Thinking Shakespeare is the standard text on American Shakespearean acting. He is also the author of Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions.


Sunday, January 17 at 4:00 p.m.
By Mona Mansour
Directed by Johanna McKeon
Conflict photographer Mia wakes up in the Istanbul apartment of her ex-girlfriend Derya with no memory of how she got there. As Mia begins to piece together the events that left her injured and unconscious in the middle of a war zone, she must also navigate her troubled history with Derya and her strained relationship with her mother, who arrives from California to care for her. Unseen is an emotional and thought-provoking drama that’s both global and deeply personal.

Mona Mansour’s (Playwright) play The Way West had its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, directed by Amy Morton, and was awarded the 2013 Sky Cooper New American Play Prize from Marin Theatre Company, which then produced the West Coast premiere. The play makes its New York City debut in March 2016 at LAByrinth Theater Company, directed by Mimi O’Donnell. The Hour of Feeling, directed by Mark Wing-Davey, received its world premiere in the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Urge for Going, directed by Hal Brooks, received a Public Lab production and a West Coast premiere at San Francisco’s Golden Thread Productions, directed by Evren Odcikin. The Vagrant, the third play in her trilogy, was commissioned by The Public Theater and workshopped at the 2013 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab with Mark Wing-Davey directing. Ms. Mansour was a member of The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group and a Core Writer at Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, and he is a member of New Dramatists. Her other plays include Across the Water and Broadcast Yourself, part of Headlong’s Decade. With Tala Manassah, Ms. Mansour has written The House for Noor Theatre; After; and The Letter, which premiered in November 2012 at Golden Thread’s ReOrient Festival. They were also in residence at Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s The Ground Floor, where they worked on a musical play called The Wife. Their play about a scientist in 1970s Iraq, an EST/Sloan Project commission, will be read in January 2016 as part of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s First Light Festival. Their short play Dressing is part of Facing Our Truth: Ten Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race, and Privilege, a collection of plays commissioned by The New Black Fest that was presented at various theatres around the U.S., including Goodman Theatre, Center Theatre Group, and Center Stage. Ms Mansour’s television credits include “Dead Like Me” and “Queens Supreme.” She received the 2012 Whiting Award and the 2014 Middle East America Distinguished Playwright Award.

Johanna McKeon’s (Director) Broadway credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch, American Idiot, and Grey Gardens, and her Broadway tour credits include American Idiot and Rent. Ms. McKeon’s other directing credits include Tokio Confidential (Atlantic Stage 2), I Have Loved Strangers (Clubbed Thumb), The Comedy of Errors and Schmoozy Togetherness (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew and Cymbeline (Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse), The Moscows of Nantucket (Theatre Workshop of Nantucket), Semi-Permanent (New York International Fringe Festival Award for Outstanding Solo Show), Functional Drunk (Ontological-Hysteric Theater), and A Hatful of Rain (ITSelF Festival, Warsaw). Her musical development workshops include Golden Motors by Derek Bermel and Wendy Walters; Rosie!, with music by Larry Gatlin; and Biederman’s Match, with book by Beau Willimon. Ms. McKeon recently shot her first feature film, Auld Lang Syne. She is a guest faculty member at Bard College and The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. She has also received Drama League, Boris Sagal, and Fulbright fellowships. She received her M.F.A. from The University of Texas at Austin.


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 also be dropped off in front of the Mingei International Museum. The Balboa Park valet is also available during performances ($12), located in front of the Japanese Friendship Garden. For additional parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org. For directions and up-to-date information, please visit www.TheOldGlobe.org/Directions.

PLEASE NOTE: To look up online or GPS directions to The Old Globe, please do not use the Delivery Address above. There is only a 10-minute zone at that physical address. For GPS users, please click here for the map coordinates, and here for written directions to The Old Globe and nearby parking in Balboa Park.

2015-2016 SEASON CALENDAR: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (11/7-12/26), New Voices Festival (1/15-1/17/2016), The Metromaniacs (1/30-3/6), The Last Match (2/13-3/13), Rain (3/24-5/1), Constellations (4/9-5/8), Camp David (5/13-6/19), tokyo fish story (5/28-6/26), Macbeth (6/19-7/24), Sense and Sensibility (7/6-8/14), Meteor Shower (7/30-9/4), Love’s Labor’s Lost (8/14-9/18).

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

The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional regional theatres and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for 80 years. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Managing Director Michael G. Murphy, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theatre’s education and community programs. Numerous world premieres such as the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Allegiance, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,and the annual holiday musical Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.

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