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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.
CELEBRATING COMMUNITY VOICES:
Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
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.
Friday, January 22 at 7:00 p.m.
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.
Saturday, January 23 at 7:00 p.m.
An Evening with the San Diego Black Artists Collective
Produced by Karen Ann Daniels and Lamar Perry
Directed by 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.
Sunday, January 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Under a Baseball Sky
By José Cruz González
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.
The Powers New Voices Festival is supported by Paula and Brian Powers. 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.
Queen Kandi Cole (Playwright, Celebrating Community Voices) is a Los Angeles–bred international recording artist. Her career got its start among the greats at Project Blowed, where she learned to write verses, understand cadence, and sharpen her delivery. After years of honing her craft, she emerged as a hip-hop artist who spoke first-rate lyrics that often revolved around themes of respect and empowerment. As she began to shake up the city with commanding performances, it came as she carried herself as such and built a reputation that solidified her as a force to be reckoned with. Consistency and hard work have put Queen Kandi Cole on stages across the U.S., India, France, Amsterdam, and Spain, to name a few. With a storied career, she is committed now more than ever to move the culture forward and be the voice for the unheard.
KishaLynn (“KL”) Moore Elliott (Playwright, Celebrating Community Voices) is a playwright, author, creative entrepreneur, and Co-Founder of the Black Leadership and Abundance Center (www.BLAAC.life). She has published A D.R.E.A.M. Comes True: Five Steps to Planning and Creating Your Personal Success Story NOW!, a bestselling self-help ebook, and CHILDish: Stories from the Life of a Young Black Girl (www.childishthebook.com), which is based on true stories from her childhood. She developed her first professional play, No Easy Exits, by participating in the SoulKiss Theater Playwriting Community Voices Workshop. Her play addresses the challenges of coming out as a lesbian. She currently lives in San Diego with her wife and son. She graduated from Spelman College in 2002.
Jonathan Hammond (Playwright, Celebrating Community Voices) is a director, editor, and writer of a dozen films, accruing a Pacific Southwest Emmy Award nomination; San Diego Film Award for Best Writer and nominations for Best Director and Picture; two consecutive San Diego Film Con Challenge wins for Best Film; four San Diego 48 Hour Film Project Audience Awards; Four Points Film Project Award for Best Ensemble Acting; San Diego CityBeat “Best Of” selection; three Indie Short Fest Awards including Best Screenplay; two KPBS Explorer designations; Women Making a Scene International Film Project winner for Best Screenplay; and grants from National Endowment for the Arts and Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. He is also the winner of Outstanding Writing for 2016 San Diego International Fringe Festival. He is a teaching artist and producer with So Say We All. He attended University of Illinois and New York University Tisch School of the Arts before moving to San Diego.
Thelma Virata de Castro (Playwright, Celebrating Community Voices) has written works performed by Asian Story Theater, OnStage Playhouse, The Old Globe, Logan Squared Productions, Circle Circle dot dot, and others. She was a Creative Catalyst Fellow with The San Diego Foundation, and she has worked on several California Humanities projects, including the upcoming Saving Stories with New Village Arts. She is a San Diego Dramatists Guild Ambassador, a teaching artist for Playwrights Project, and the founder of San Diego Playwrights. She is a Hedgebrook alumna, and she attended A Room of Her Own Foundation’s retreat. The San Diego Union-Tribune included her in its list of “Phenomenal San Diego Women.”
Freedome Bradley-Ballentine (Co-Director, Celebrating Community Voices), The Old Globe’s Associate Artistic Director and its first Director of Arts Engagement, has been in San Diego for five years, but his impact on the community has been unforgettable. His work forges social connections with economically, geographically, and culturally diverse communities throughout the county, making the Globe truly accessible for all and facilitating the Globe’s commitment of making theatre matter to more people. Since joining the Globe, he has implemented dozens of new in-person and online programs, from Reflecting Shakespeare for people experiencing incarceration, to free Community Voices playwriting workshops, and art collaborations with artists and community called coLAB. Other innovative programs include Word Up!, Bard Basics, Behind the Curtain, Breaking Bread, and the Shakespeare in Prisons Conference 2018. He leads the free Globe for All Tour, which brings professional Shakespeare to underserved and diverse multigenerational audiences in neighborhoods throughout the region. It is now a national model for accessible theatre. On campus, he developed AXIS plaza programs, Pam Farr Summer Shakespeare Studio for teens, and Globe Learning professional development opportunities; he transformed Behind-the-Scenes Tours, Free Student and Senior Matinees, Sensory-Friendly Initiatives, and School in the Park; and he helped start the Technical Center internships and professional development programs. Prior to his arrival in San Diego, Bradley-Ballentine led the theatrical program for SummerStage and the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park, both part of CityParks Foundation. He was also Creative Director of Creative Stages Entertainment, developing and producing Off Broadway theatre. He holds an M.F.A. in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College and a B.A. in Education from New York University, and he served in the United States Peace Corps in Ethiopia.
Katherine Harroff (Co-Director, Celebrating Community Voices) has worked with The Old Globe since 2011, when she first originated the Community Voices playwriting workshop. From 2011 to 2014 Harroff instructed and produced short-play workshops and presentations throughout San Diego County. In 2016 she rejoined the Globe and the newly formed Arts Engagement Department under the helm of Freedome Bradley-Ballentine and began managing the Community Voices program as it expanded to new genres of performance development. In 2016 she developed and implemented the coLAB workshop program, an offering that partners communities with professional devising artists, with a culminating goal of producing an original play collaboratively. In 2017 she took over producing the Globe plaza performing arts series AXIS and has since curated over 15 different community-driven events for large Balboa Park–attending audiences. Harroff is also a playwright, director, and performing artist. In her spare time she acts as Artistic Director and Head Playwright for the local community-based theatre company Circle Circle dot dot. In 2019 she was awarded a local playwright commission from The Old Globe.
Lamar Perry (he/him/his) (Co-Director, Celebrating Community Voices; Co-Director, An Evening with the San Diego Black Artists Collective) is a Queer Black director, producer, and writer originally from Windsor, Connecticut. In addition to working as a freelance director and educator, he currently serves as the Globe’s Artistic Associate, having formerly served as Producing Associate at Classical Theatre of Harlem. His recent projects include the podcast Gather Round! (The Old Globe) and audio plays Punchbowl Spaces and The Family Sound (Blindspot Collective/La Jolla Playhouse). Recently he taught, directed, and conducted a semester-long devised-theatre project at UC San Diego in their graduate acting program with their second-year M.F.A. acting candidates. He is a 2020–2021 Roundabout Theatre Company Directors Group member and a 2020 National Alliance for Musical Theatre Observer. Perry was recently featured in American Theatre magazine’s “Roll Call: People to Watch” and is an alum of Schusterman Family Foundation’s REALITY Storytellers program (2019). He holds a bachelor of science from St. John’s University and is an alum of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Daniel Jáquez (Co-Translator and Co-Adaptor, Fuente Ovejuna) directed the Globe for All Tour of The Winter’s Tale in 2019. He is a Co-Founding Director of TuYo Theatre, a company that creates and produces theatre from a diverse Latinx perspective. He served as Artistic Director of Milagro in Oregon, and in New York he was Director of both INTAR Theatre’s young acting company and its New Works Lab, an annual festival for emerging Latinx playwrights. Mr. Jáquez, now based in San Diego, has directed and produced shows Off and Off Off Broadway, across the United States, and internationally. He believes that theatre matters because it builds empathy by bringing us together in one place to share an experience that reflects the human condition of people around us and around the world.
Tanika Baptiste (Playwright and Co-Director, An Evening with the San Diego Black Artists Collective), recently named the BroadwayWorld San Francisco 2019 Person to Watch (Female), is an award-winning actor/singer originally from San Diego and is based in both San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her most recent directorial credits include The Review, or How to Eat Your Opposition and At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen (Theatre Rhinoceros), Rachel (South Bay Musical Theatre), Black Flag (Common Ground Theatre/Poway Unified School District), The desTROYers (as assistant director, co-adaptor, and costume designer; Southwestern College), and Fires in the Mirror (Trinity Theatre Company). Baptiste served as Artistic Director for the inaugural Artists 4 Black Lives Festival at Balboa Park in San Diego this past Juneteenth. She is slated to direct Program B of the Plays by Young Writers Festival in February. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Joy Yvonne Jones (Playwright, An Evening with the San Diego Black Artists Collective), originally from Houston, Texas, attended Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and went on to study at University of Minnesota in the Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jones is a recipient of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Female for her performance of Saartjie Baartman in Voyeurs de Venus at MOXIE Theatre. Her most recent credits include Cherise Howard in Flex (Humana Festival of New American Plays/Actors Theatre of Louisville), Isabelle in Ring Round the Moon (Lamb’s Players Theatre), Zuzu in Dance Nation (MOXIE Theatre), and Jane in Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (Cygnet Theatre Company). In 2020 her play Ode to My Mothers was featured in The Old Globe Juneteenth celebration. Jones is a creative hurricane working on the revolution at the speed of inspiration. And a new mother to Leonidas James.
Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (Co-Director, An Evening with the San Diego Black Artists Collective) is a founder and the former Artistic Director of MOXIE Theatre, which she helmed for 12 acclaimed seasons, receiving the Des McAnuff New Visions Award for risk-taking leadership and body of work and the 2015 Director of the Year Award from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle. She has also directed plays for The Old Globe, Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, San Diego Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Cygnet Theatre Company, New Village Arts, Diversionary Theatre, and Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company. Some of her honors include Theatre Communications Group’s New Generations Program grant, San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Awards, Women’s International Center Living Legacy Award, Van Lier Fund fellowship (Second Stage Theatre), and New York Drama League’s Directors Project.
Dea Hurston (Playwright, An Evening with the San Diego Black Artists Collective), a highly regarded activist in the arts community, is a patron, advocate, and philanthropist. With a strong focus on inclusion and diversity, she has supported women leaders and has encouraged arts organizations to provide access to the arts for children. She is a former Commissioner of Arts for the City of San Diego and has served on numerous boards of directors. Hurston is also an award-winning playwright for her play I Want to Marry Little Stevie Wonder, which has recently received a commission from The Old Globe for further development. She is currently working on 1222 Oceanfront: Home, a Black Christmas musical scheduled for production by New Village Arts in December 2021. Playwrights Project is set to produce her play Family as part of the 2021 Mosaic Project. The play you see tonight, In Sickness and in Health, was made into a short film she hopes to release soon.
José Cruz González (Playwright, Under a Baseball Sky) has previously written the plays American Mariachi (The Old Globe, Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company), Sunsets & Margaritas (Denver Center), September Shoes (Geva Theatre Center), Curious (Teatro del Pueblo), The San Patricios (Pacific Conservatory Theatre), Among the Darkest Shadows (Wharton Center for Performing Arts), The Highest Heaven (Childsplay), The Long Road Today (South Coast Repertory), and The Astronaut Farmworker (La Jolla Playhouse; 2016 PEN Center USA Literary Award Finalist). Mr. González also wrote for “Paz,” the Emmy Award-nominated television series produced by Discovery Kids for The Learning Channel. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at The Kennedy Center. A collection of his plays, Nine Plays by José Cruz González: Magical Realism and Mature Themes in Theatre for Young Audiences,was published by University of Texas Press in 2009. He is a professor at California State University, Los Angeles and a member of the Dramatists Guild and TYA/USA. He is a Playwright-in-Residence at Childsplay in Tempe, Arizona.
James Vásquez (Director, Under a Baseball Sky) recently directed the West Coast premieres of Hurricane Diane and Tiny Beautiful Things and the world premiere of American Mariachi at The Old Globe, where he has also directed Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Rich Girl, and Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show and provided musical staging and movement for several additional productions. His directing and choreography credits also include work at Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, Children’s Theatre Company, and Dallas Theater Center, as well as developmental workshops for La Jolla Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals. He is the recipient of the Craig Noel Award for his productions In the Heights (Moonlight Stage Productions) and Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre Company). Vásquez is an amateur gardener, lover of dogs, and graduate of The Juilliard School.