In the News: Little Island's Storytelling Festival Begins, Roundabout Announces New Directors Group Cohorts, More

News   In the News: Little Island's Storytelling Festival Begins, Roundabout Announces New Directors Group Cohorts, More
 
Plus, The Motherhood Concert will stream featuring Adriane Lenox, Pearl Sun, and more, and American Theatre Critics Association announces two award winners.
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Amber Iman Marc J. Franklin

Read on for more theatre news you may have missed in today's headlines.

Little Island's Inaugural Storytelling Festival Starts July 21
As previously reported, a five-day festival of storytelling, curated by Artists-in-Residence PigPen Theatre Co., begins July 21 at Little Island, New York City’s new public park on the Hudson River. The multidisciplinary Storytelling Festival features singer-songwriters, musicians, poets, and more employing a variety of art forms across the park to highlight the art of storytelling. Theatre favorites participating in the event include Amber Iman, Shaina Taub, Daniel J. Watts, Ato Blankson-Wood, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Jose Llana, Kuhoo Verma, and more. The festival runs through July 25. For a full schedule of storytelling programs, visit Little Island. org.

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Adriane Lenox

The Motherhood Concert Features Songs by Moms, Performed by Parents
The Motherhood Concert: Truth Set to Music, featuring songs penned by moms and performed by parents, will be offered free of charge on International Mother Artist Day, August 2 at 7 PM ET, and will be available to stream through August 6. Presented by the Parent Artist Advocacy League for Performing Arts and Media, the evening will be directed by Mary Hodges and will feature Tony winner Adriane Lenox, Pearl Sun, Darlesia Cearcy, Rodney Gardiner, Christina Acosta Robinson, Don Darryl Rivera, and Joanne Javien with guest appearances from Oscar winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Charise Castro Smith, and more. Songwriters, selected by a diverse committee from more than 136 song submissions, include Jessica Delfino, Miranda Ferris Jones, Becca McLarty, April Dae Okpwae, Ilene Reid, Katya Stanislavskaya, and Rachel Woods, who also serves as co-music director. The original songs highlight the universal, shared experience of caregiving and all of the joys and struggles that come along with it. The band will include Christie Chiles Twillie, Kristy Norter, Melissa Westgate, Shirazette Tinnin, Meg Toohey, and Caitlin Gray with arrangements and orchestrations by Anna Ebbesen and Jennifer Green; the copyist/transcriber is Sheela Ramesh. Concert producers include Colleen McCormack, Rachel Spencer Hewitt, and Adriana Gaviria. To reserve tickets or learn more, click here.

Roundabout Theatre Announces New Cohort for Directors Group
Roundabout Theatre Company has selected the third cohort of the Leon Levy Roundabout Directors Group. Launched in 2019, the initiative provides career assistance to emerging directors who have traditionally been denied equitable opportunities in American Theatre. Participating directors for 2021–2022 are Jason Aguirre, Borna Barzin, Mack Brown, Daniella Caggiano, Kevaughn Harvey, Alex Keegan, Emilia Lirman, Andrés López-Alicea, and Nicholas Polonio, under the leadership of Roundabout Associate Artistic Director Jill Rafson and Associate Artist Cristina Angeles. In addition to the new cohort of directors, the 2020-2021 cohort will continue with Roundabout for a second season, to give them a more complete experience after spending their entire year meeting digitally. To read more about the program and the cohort, visit RoundaboutTheatre.org.

Reimagining of Rites of Passage Spotlights BIPOC Artists
Rites of Passage: 20/20 Vision, a collaborative art and performance project focusing on the lives and visionary futures of Black, Indigenous, Immigrant, (cis and trans) Women of Color in America, will be presented August 13–17 at Massachusetts' Whitney Center for the Arts. Conceived and developed by Founder and Artistic Director Pooja Prema, 20/20 Vision was created in collaboration with 65 Women of Color from around the country and will see patrons traveling through 21 rooms, experiencing each as a “rite of passage” in the lives of Women of Color from birth to death. Featured rooms include “Migration/Diaspora,” “No Longer Silent,” “Sustenance,” “Trans-cendance,” “The Living Womb,” “Legacy,” and “Adolescence.” The reimagining of Rites of Passage, which debuted in 2013, centers the work of BIPOC artists, providing platforms for their stories to be told and archived. “After a year of unprecedented challenge on every (un)imaginable level, Rites of Passage: 20/20 Vision emerges as a space for healing, remembering, and reconnection in real space and time. It’s an invitation for all of us to reflect on our shared past, present, and future through the lens of Women of Color. We call it 20/20 Vision because it’s a collective experiment in cultivating clear sight. How did we get to this moment and where do we go from here—as a nation, as a people?” said Prema. For more information visit RitesofPassageProject.org.

J Nicole Brooks
J Nicole Brooks

American Theatre Critics Association Announces New Play Awards
The ATCA has awarded two new play awards to playwrights Douglas Williams and J. Nicole Brooks. Williams wins the 2021 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award for his play Ship. The Osborn Award recognizes the work of a playwright who has not yet received a major production. Ship made its world premiere in February 2020 at Azuka Theatre in Philadelphia, where Williams is playwright in residence. Brooks was honored with the 2021 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award for their play Her Honor, Jane Byrne. The Steinberg/ATCA Award recognizes an outstanding script that premiered professionally outside of New York City. Her Honor, Jane Byrne premiered at the Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago. Two 2021 Steinberg/ATCA citations were also awarded: Graveyard Shift by khat knotahaiku, produced by Chicago’s Goodman Theatre; and Verböten, with music and lyrics by Jason Narducy and a book by Brett Neveu, produced by House Theatre of Chicago.

Tune in alert: It's the last chance to catch CollaborAzian’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, an abridged version of Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak's Tony-winning musical featuring an all-Asian American production team and cast including Ali Ewoldt and Thom Sesma. The stream is available through July 22. For more details, visit Playbill's Live Stream Calendar.

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